Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Castilleja integra, Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush

Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush has attractive red or scarlet “flowers” that bloom in early spring from March to September. Castilleja integraWholeleaf Indian Paintbrush is a native perennial that grows up to 16 inches tall or so. It is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, CO, NM and TX. Castilleja integraWholeleaf Indian Paintbrush is an attractive perennial with narrowly lanceolate green leaves. It has been used for a variety of purposes by South American indigenous peoples. Castilleja integraWholeleaf Indian Paintbrush or Squawfeather as it is sometimes called is a member of the Snapdragon Family. Castilleja integraWholeleaf Indian Paintbrush is an herb or small subshrub with beautiful red “flowers”. Castilleja integra

Scientific Name: Castilleja integra
Common Name: Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush
Also Called: Squawfeather
Family: Scrophulariaceae, Figwort or Snapdragon Family - Moving to Orobanchaceae
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 16 inches tall more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; suffrutescent; stems more or less tomentose pubescence; leafy, mostly erect.
Leaves: Green; alternate, entire, sessile; narrowly lanceolate; glabrous or glabrate above.
Flower Color: Red, scarlet or yellowish bracts; flowers greenish.
Flowering Season: March to September in Arizona and Texas.
Elevation: 3,000 to 7,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Among oaks and pines.

Recorded Range: Castilleja integra is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, CO, NM, TX. It is also native to northern Mexico. In Arizona it occurs throughout the state with few or no records in Gila, Greenlee, LaPaz and Gila counties. However, variety "gloriosa" is very rare and in the United States where it is found only Maricopa County, Arizona.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Castilleja integra.

U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.

Genus Information: In North America there are 109 species and 166 accepted taxa overall for Castilleja. World wide, The Plant List includes 204 accepted species names and includes a further 238 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States, Arizona there are 16 species of Castilleja, in California there are 36 species, Nevada has 20 species, New Mexico has 21 species, Texas has 09 species, Utah has 15 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

There are 2 varieties in Castilleja integra;
Castilleja integra var. gloriosa, Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush, (AZ);
Castilleja integra var. integra, Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush, (AZ, CO, NM, TX).

Comments: The Wholeleaf Indian Paintbrush as well as the Sierra Woolly Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja lanata), which also is found in Arizona, are host species for the caterpillar larvae of the Fulvia Checkerspot Butterfly, Chlosyne fulvia.

The type species of Castilleja integra var. gloriosa (Castilleja gloriosa) was collected at Fort Verde, Yavapai County (Mearns 208).

In Southwestern Desert Flora also see Exserted Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja exserta.

Castilleja integra has been used for a variety of purposes by South American indigenous peoples.
Apache, White Mountain Dye, Unspecified, Root bark used with other substances to color various kinds of skins, especially deer skin.
Jemez Other, Preservative, Dried bracts mixed with chile seeds to prevent spoilage during storage.
Keres, Western Other, Ceremonial Items, Plant held by women for decoration during the harvest dance.
Navajo, Ramah Drug, Blood Medicine, Compound decoction of root used to 'clean out the blood' after internal injury.
Navajo, Ramah Drug, Gynecological Aid, Decoction of leaf taken during pregnancy to keep baby small, for easy labor.
Zuni Dye, Black, Root bark used with minerals to color deerskin black.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 08/14/2016, updated format 10/03/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 08/14/2016)
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 08/14/2016).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 08/14/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information 08/14/2016).
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA);(accessed 08/14/2016).