Applegate's Paintbrush 2011

Ansel Adams Wilderness, Garnet Lake, August 2011

  • Castilleja applegatei Fernald
  • Wavyleaf Indian paintbrush
  • Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
  • Synonym(s):
  • USDA Symbol: CAAP4
  • USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Applegate's Indian Paintbrush is a green root-parasite that taps into the water and nutrient supply of neighboring shrubs. It is actually called a hemiparasite because it can grow independently. Many hemiparasites take up a contact relationship with their hosts immediately after seed germination. Although they are green and capable of fixing appreciable amounts of carbon via photosynthesis, they grow poorly under these circumstances. Studies have shown that as soon as a hemiparasite makes contact with a host, growth rate improves greatly and the plant becomes much more vigorous.

DISTRIBUTION: Meadows and dry open forest or scrub throughout Calif.; 300-3600 m.

Sourced from: -- and -- Calif Academy of Sciences

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