Named for Castillejo, a Spanish botanist.

Perennial or biennial. Low, sandy ground. Maine and Ontario to Manitoba, south to the Carolinas, Kansas, and Texas. Appears in northern Ohio. May-July.


Simple, with few erect branches, six to twenty-four inches high, pubescent.


Basal leaves clustered, mostly entire, obovate or oblong; stem-leaves deeply and irregularly cleft; floral leaves dilated, three to five-cleft, bright scarlet toward the summit.


Inconspicuous, greenish yellow, enclosed by broad, three-cleft floral bracts, more or less tipped with vermilion, borne in a terminal spike.


Flattened, tubular, cleft above and below into two lobes, usually green, sometimes scarlet.


Irregular; upper lip long and arched; the short lower lip three-lobed.


Four, unequal, two long and two short; anther-sacs unequal.


Ovary one; style threadlike. Fruit. - Many-seeded capsule.

Scarlet Painted Cup. Castilleja coccinea

Scarlet Painted-Cup. Castilleja coccinea

The curious thing about the Painted-Cup is that when the flowering time comes the entire plant bursts into bloom. The real blossom is yellow and inconspicuous, but the upper leaves upon the floral stem look as if their sides and tips were dipped into a scarlet tincture. The plant is accused of parasitic tendencies, but a colony covering a barren, sandy hillside apparently has very little opportunity for evil-doing.