In flower now..... Castilleja integra

Castilleja integra flower

This hemi-parasite from south western states of America (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas) has leafy stems and a woody root. Its leaves are not incised or lobed as many of the other species of paintbrush are, hence the species name “integra”. The genus name commemorates an 18th century botanist. Domingo Castillejo, of Cadiz, Spain. This beautiful plant is a native of arid hills, plains and mesas and will bloom throughout the summer months. Its roots grow until they touch the roots of other plants (frequently grasses), then penetrate the roots of host plants to obtain a portion of its nutrients.

Previously classified in the Scrophulariaceae, it has been moved to the Orobanchaceae. Nearly all members of this family are either hemiparasitic or holoparasitic.