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Rocky Mountain Indian Paintbrush, Coville Indian Paintbrush - Castilleja covilleana

Family: Orobanchaceae - Broom-rape family Genus Common Name: Indian Paintbrush Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Subshrub Herb
Castilleja covilleana - Rocky Mountain Indian Paintbrush, Coville Indian Paintbrush. Rocky Mountain Paintbrush is one of the red Indian Paintbrushes, although it can occasionally be orange or even yellow. It is found commonly in Idaho, but in no other states except very rarely in Montana. It is a leafy, hairy plant, up to about a foot high. A. Scott Earle, in Idaho Mountain Wildflowers, describes it as "spidery." It is very similar to Northwestern Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja angustifolia, and frankly I'm not certain I have this ID correct. That's due to the similarity of the two species, and because the USDA does not list C. covilleana in Ada County, ID, where I photographed this plant. However, it does list C. angustifolia in Ada County. However, Northwestern Indian Paintbrush seems to be a more erect plant, being up to 18 inches tall, and Jepsen describes angustifolia as having up to 5 lobes on the leaf. The Montana Field Guides website, operated by the Montana state government, says C. covilleana can have up to 7 lobes on the leaves, and I have found at least one leaf (and I think more) in my photos of this plant with 7 lobes. The middle, terminal lobe of the leaf will be almost as narrow as the lateral lobes. The hairs on the plant in my photos also seems fitting with the long, soft hairs described for C. covilleana.

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Castilleja covilleana

Distribution of Castilleja covilleana in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 24 Feb 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Boise National Forest, Ada County, ID Date: 2011-June-10Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Castijella covilleana is described as having a spidery appearance.
Castilleja covilleana

Site: Boise National Forest, Ada County, ID Date: 2011-June-10Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Rocky Mountain Indian Paintbrush is rarely more than a foot tall.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Castilleja covilleana

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2018
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer