Castilleja sessiliflora Pursh - Downy Yellow Painted Cup


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Castilleja sessiliflora - (image 1 of 9)



Family: Scrophulariaceae


Dry prairies and plains, hill prairies. Also sandy soil on west side of Lake Michigan.


Occurs with the usual associates of hill prairies. Near Lake Michigan in IL it occurs with Andropogon scoparius, Anemone cylindrica, Arabis lyrata, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Artemesia caudata, Hypericum kalmianum, Liastris aspera, Liatris cylindraceae, Lithospermum croceum, Opuntia humifusa, Prunus pumila, Rosa carolina, and Solidago speciosa.


WI and northern IL to Saskatchewan, south to MO, TX, and AZ. It reaches the furthest eastern distribution on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan, where these images were taken.


Perennial, hemi-parasitic, soft-hairy herb with clustered stems to 40 cm. Leaves crowded, 3-5 cm, cleft below the middle into three lance-linear, divergent lobes; middle lobe sometimes again cleft. Flowers in dense spikes 3-5 cm long; floral bracts pale yellow to greenish, sometimes pink-tipped, similar to leaves; calyx cleft to about the middle, each half distinctly bifid; corolla more than 3.5cm long, curved, exserted from the bracts, yellow to purplish or white.


Flowers late May to early July.

Wetland indicator: Upland.

A rare species in IL. 


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.

The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




Michael Hough 2004