Castilleja sessiliflora (Downy Painted-cup)
|Also known as:||Downy Paintbrush, Yellow Painted-cup|
|Habitat:||sun; dry prairies, limey soil|
|Bloom season:||May - July|
|Plant height:||4 to 12 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||none|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in a dense, leafy spike along the upper half of the stem. Individual flowers are about 1 inch long, pale yellow to greenish, tubular with a long slender upper lip and a shorter lower lip, lobed in 3 parts. The leafy bracts are softly hairy and shorter than the flower.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are 1 to 3 inches long, narrow with rounded tips or narrowly lobed in 3 parts, softly hairy, toothless, with no leaf stalk. Stems are densely hairy and unbranched, though a plant typically has multiple stems.
Downy Painted-cup is partially parasitic. Host plants include various native prairie grasses, such as hairy grama and June grass, as well as other wildflowers. All of the Castilleja species were formerly in family Scrophulariaceae (Figwort) but have been reassigned to Orobanchaceae (Broomrape) along with other parasitic plants.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Lost Valley SNA, Washington County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?