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Castilleja arachnoidea Greenm.

Cobwebby Indian paintbrush

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyOrobanchaceaeBroomrape family of parasitic plants
GenusCastillejaNamed for Spanish botanist Domingo Castillejo
Speciesarachnoidea“Resembling a spider,” because of the cobweb-like hairs

About plant names...

Cobwebby Indian paintbrush gets its colorful name from the cobweb-like hairs that coat it. It is a North American native plant. If you’re interested in Castillejas, don’t miss Mark Egger’s superb photographic compilation on Flickr. See also this Castilleja comparison table.

Identification: Plants are 3-12" (7.6-30 cm) high. Leaves are ¾-2" (2-6 cm) long, unlobed or forked into lobes. Flowers vary from lemon yellow to pale green or purplish red in color, and appear in June. Bracts—modified leaves—appear under each flower, and are ¼-¾" (6.3-19 mm) long. They are yellowish to dull red. Fruit capsules are about ⅜" (1 cm) long.

Online References:

Castilleja arachnoidea at Mark Egger’s Castilleja site on Flickr

Castilleja arachnoidea on CalPhotos

Castilleja arachnoidea on Turner Photographics' Wildflowers site

Castilleja arachnoidea at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Castilleja arachnoidea on SEINet—the Southwest Environmental Information Network

Castilleja arachnoidea from the Jepson Manual

Castilleja arachnoidea Greenm. ssp. shastensis (Eastw.) Pennell

Castilleja filifolia Eastw.

Castilleja payneae Eastw.


Castilleja arachnoidea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.

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Castilleja arachnoidea (cobwebby Indian paintbrush)

8/29/2007 · Near Crater Lake, Ore­gon
≈ 3½ × 5" (8.8 × 13 cm)


About this map...