Page author: David Giblin
Castilleja miniata
common paintbrush, scarlet paintbrush
Note the simple, unlobed leaves and bright red inflorescence color (var. miniata).
Calyx lobes are acute, and the green flowers are well exserted from the calyx (var. dixonii).
var. dixonii: note the thicker, broader leaves.

Distribution: Occurring throughout much of Washington; Alaska south to California, east to the Rocky Mountains in the U.S., east to Ontario in Canada.

Habitat: Mountain meadows and slopes; also on coastal bluffs; widespread and common.

Flowers: May-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Perennial herb to 80 cm tall; stems in small clusters, often branched above.


Simple, narrow with pointed tip; inflorescence leaves and bracts bright red, sometimes with a few small lobes.


Inconspicuous, greenish, tubular flowers, surrounded by a much showier bright red calyx and inflorescence bracts.


2-celled capsules with many seeds.

Identification Notes:

A few traits to look for include the narrow unlobed leaves; bright red inflorescence; sharply pointed calyx lobes, and greenish flowers much longer than calyx. Castilleja is a difficult genus; consult technical keys.


Our most common Castilleja in the mountians.

Accepted Name:
Castilleja miniata Douglas ex Hook.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. dixonii – Dixon's paintbrush    Along the coast of Washington.
var. miniata – scarlet paintbrush    Widespread in Washington on both sides of the Cascades; common throughout Western North America.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Castilleja miniata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Castilleja miniata checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Castilleja miniata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Castilleja miniata photos.

USDA Plants: Castilleja miniata information.

118 photographs:
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