Castilleja integra is the most common middle elevation Indian Paintbrush in the Gila National Forest. Higher up, one finds Castilleja austomontana, and in the desert areas there is Castilleja lanata. Castilleja integra has leaves that are glabrous on the upper surface and tomentose on the bottom. It is a perennial with stout stems and linear leaves. The floral bracts are red.
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Wiggins 1964, Heil et al. 2013, Allred and Ivey 2012
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herb, 10-50 cm tall, from woody rootstock; stems erect to ascending, one to several per plant, covered with white woolly hairs. Leaves: Alternate along the stems; blades linear to linear-lanceolate, 2-7 cm long, with smooth edges (entire margins); upper leaf surface glabrous and lower surface tomentose to villous. Flowers: Red and showy, in dense spikes, 2-10 cm long, at the tops of stems; spikes elongate substantially as flowers mature into fruits; each flower subtended by a showy scarlet to red-orange bract that is longer than the flower, obovate, 2-4 cm long, hairy, and usually entire but occasionally divided into 3 acute lobes, the lateral lobes much smaller than the central lobe; calyx 20-35 mm long, divided into 4 unequal segments, the same red color as the bracts; petals 25-45 mm long, fused into a tube and strongly 2-lipped at the top, mostly dark green, pubescent, and exserted beyond the calyx. Fruits: Capsules ovoid, 10-14 mm long; splitting open longitudinally to release many tiny seeds. Ecology: Found on dry rocky slopes from 4,500-10,500 ft (1372-3200 m); flowers March-October. Distribution: AZ, NM, CO, w TX; n MEX. Notes: One of the more widespread Castilleja found in the region. Distinguished by being perennial; having stems covered with woolly hairs; leaves that are linear to linear-lanceolate, hairy on the underside but not the top, and have smooth margins; and the red bract below each flower is entire or occasionally 3- toothed at the tip. Much like C. austromontana, but that species has slightly wider leaves and the stems are covered with long soft hairs, rather than the short woolly hairs of C. integra. C. lanata is also similar but that species has leaves which are hairy on both the upper and lower surface. Ethnobotany: Used medicinally for burns, and stomach troubles, and as a blood medicine; also used as a dye and as a preservative when mixed with chile. Etymology: Castilleja is named for the Spanish botanist Domingo Castillejo (1744-1793); integra means entire or undivided, referring to the floral bracts which are most often unlobed. Synonyms: Castilleja gloriosa Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2017