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Castilleja cinerea
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Ash-gray Paintbrush
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Castilleja cinerea

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About Ash-gray Paintbrush (Castilleja cinerea) Castilleja cinerea is a species of Indian paintbrush known by the common name ashgray Indian paintbrush. It is endemic to San Bernardino County, California, where it is known only from the San Bernardino Mountains. There are about 20 occurrences known. This is a perennial herb growing up to 15 centimeters tall and covered in a coat of ash-gray woolly hairs. The leaves are linear or narrowly lance-shaped and one or two centimeters long. The inflorescence is made up of fuzzy dull to bright reddish or purplish pink bracts between which emerge smaller yellowish to greenish flowers. The color of the inflorescence is influenced by the environment of the plant; those with more northern exposures tend to have yellowish flowers and those facing south have more reddish flowers. Like other Castilleja species, this plant parasitizes other species for water and nutrients; C. cinerea is generally found tapping buckwheats (Eriogonum spp. ) and sagebrushes (Artemisia spp. ). Habitat. Castilleja cinerea grows in several habitat types, including dry desert and sagebrush scrub, woodland, and coniferous forest. It is also known from the unique quartzite pebble plain habitat in these mountains, which it shares with other endemics such as Arenaria ursina. Threats. The Castilleja cinerea plant is a federally listed threatened species. Threats to its survival include development of its habitat for human use, recreation, off-road vehicles, logging, grazing, mining, and invasive species of plants.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb, Annual herb

Max. Height
5.9 in (15 cm)

Flower Color
Red, Yellow, Pink, Purple

Native Status
Natural Setting
Elevation ?
3426' - 9983'

Annual Precip. ?
5.3" - 34.9"

Summer Precip. ?
0.74" - 2.64"

Coldest Month ?
30.4° F - 51.5° F

Hottest Month ?
53.8° F - 74.9° F

Humidity ?
2.08 vpd - 27.71 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Ashgray Indian Paintbrush

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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