Castilleja levisecta from Ecology and Conservation of the South Puget Sound Prairie Landscape

Castilleja levisecta (Golden paintbrush), is a multi-stemmed perennial in the figwort or
Scrophulariaceae family. An endemic to the Pacific Northwest, it inhabits low elevation
prairies and grasslands within the Puget Trough region, and is typically associated with
Festuca idahoensis or F. rubra. C. levisecta is easily identified by its showy
inflorescences consisting of whorls of conspicuous golden-yellow leaf bract surrounding
less-conspicuous greenish flowers. Plants emerge in early March and flower from April
to July. Bumblebees are most frequently observed foraging on the flowers of C. levisecta,
and are suspected of being a primary pollinator. Seed production is rather prolific, and
cold stratification is required for germination.

The conversion of habitat to agricultural, residential, and other uses is a primary cause of
the decline in the number of populations of C. levisecta. Threats to the extant populations
include loss of suitable habitat, the invasion of grassland habitat by native and non-native
species, herbivory, trampling, and collecting by humans. The few remaining populations.
of Castilleja levisecta in the Pacific Northwest region are isolated, fragmented, and most
are quite small. As such, they are vulnerable to extirpation from random, stochastic
events, and are individually and collectively critical for the long term survival of this

Follow this link to access all other chapters of Ecology and Conservation of the South Puget Sound Prairie Landscape

Table of Contents