Plant Data Sheet



Species (common name, Latin name)

Common Red Paintbrush, Castilleja miniata



Widely distributed from southern Alaska to Southern California, New Mexico and Arizona, missing the coast ranges of Oregon and California.This species is highly variable.


Climate, elevation

Found in moist and dry places at middle elevations in the mountains.


Local occurrence (where, how common)

Fairly common in both the Cascades and the Olympic Mountains.


Habitat preferences

Prefers meadows and slopes at medium and lower elevations in the mountains.Found in open woods and meadows (both dry and moist) thickets, grassy slopes, clearings, roadsides.


Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

Is reported to be somewhat parasitic and requires a host plant.


Associated species

Although this plant requires a host species, it does not seem to be particularly associated with any one host plant.Composites, grasses and legumes are the most common.


May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

C. miniata flowers from May to September. Allow seed pods to dry on the plant before collecting. Plants may also be divided, but be aware that they may be parasitic to roots of other plants.

Collection restrictions or guidelines

 If collecting seeds or plants in national parks or forest, please refer to their guidelines for gathering and removing plant materials.


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

Cold stratification for 3 months or direct sow outside in the fall.If starting indoors, stratify first.


Seed life (can be stored, short shelf-life, long shelf-life)



Recommended seed storage conditions



Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

There are conflicting reports of the viability of using divisions of the rootball for propagative purposes due to the plantís parasitic nature. Most sources recommend sowing seeds for C. miniata because of this. Transplanting is not recommended.


Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

Requires open, quick-draining, but moisture retentive and deep soils of moderate fertility.Prefers a neutral Ph.


Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

Seeds have a high rate of germination, and therefore cost should be reasonable, especially if collecting the seeds yourself.


Recommended planting density

It is recommended that you sow seeds amongst other plants so that a relationship can be established with the host plant.


Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)

Heavy fertilizing is highly recommended in the establishment phase. Water normally. Keep the host plants maintained so that they do not overtake C. miniata while it is trying to establish.


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan



Photo sources

1††† †††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

2 kienholz/mt_flowers_3.htm



Sources cited

Clark, Lewis J. Wild Flowers of the Pacific Northwest from Alaska to Northern California. Vancouver, BC: Evergreen Publishing Limited, 1976.


Daveís Garden, Plant Files. 26 April 2006. <>.


Foster, H. Lincoln. Rock Gardening. A guide to Growing Alpines and Other Wildflowers in the American Garden. New York: Bonanza Books, 1968.


Glicenstein, Leon. Some Native Orchids of Northeastern USA. 26 April 2006. < >.

Hitchcock, C. Leo and Arthur Cronquist.Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An illustrated Manual. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1973.


Hitchcock, Cronquist, Ownbey and Thompson.Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest. Parts 1-5. Seattle, Wa: University of Washington Press, 1961.


Lawrence, Beth. Studies to Facilitate Reintroduction of Golden Paintbrush (Castilleja. Thesis. Oregon State University, December 2005. 10 May 2006 < LawrenceThesis/Lawrence_Thesis_CHAPTER%205%20Growing%20Castilleja.pdf>.


Data compiled by (student name and date)

Molly Deardorff

May 10, 2006