Wyoming Paintbrush

A field of bright orange-red flowers, some blurry in the foreground against a green background
Wyoming Paintbrush
Wyoming Paintbrush

Castilleja linariifolia

Common Names: Narrowleaf Paintbrush, Linearleaf Paintbrush
Family: Orobanchaceae
Flowering Season (Bryce Region): May - October
Size: 18"-36" (45-91 cm)
Range: Wyoming into the Colorado Plateau

General Description

A member of the figwort family, this species is unusually tall for a paintbrush. It favors moist areas, but it is also drought tolerant enough to be found in sagebrush flats. It has narrow, green linear leaves with an alternate arrangement on the stems. Flowers are actually inside each of the loosely to densely clustered upper leaves which form scarlet red tubes around them and from which the pale green corolla protrudes. Stems range in color from gray-green to crimson to purple.


Shrublands and grass meadows. This species is found in most locations in the park but is especially common along roadsides and most trails. The paintbrush grows amid other plants. It is often found among manzanita, bitterbrush and sagebrush, but not exclusively so. It is the most common of the three kinds of paintbrush known in the park.

Plant Lore

This is a semi-parasitic plant that uses its roots to penetrate and secure nutrients and water from other plants. American Indians in Utah may have used paintbrush as a blood purifier, and to treat nosebleeds. This species was also prized as a treatment for venereal diseases.

Further Reading

Buchanan, Hayle, PhD. 1992. Wildflowers of Southwestern Utah, Bryce Canyon Natural History Association. Bryce Canyon, Utah.

Densmore, Frances. 1991. How Indians use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine and Crafts. Dover Publications.

Welsh, Treshow, and Moore. 1965. Common Utah Plants. Brigham Young University. Provo, Utah.

Last updated: April 30, 2023

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P.O Box 640201
Bryce, UT 84764


435 834-5322
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