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Vascular Plants of California
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Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OrobanchaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub; often glandular; root-parasites, roots modified into absorptive structures. Stem: generally round in ×-section. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, reduced to +- fleshy scales in non-green plants lacking chlorophyll; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1--2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; calyx lobes 0--5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed), abaxial lobes outside other lobes in bud; stamens epipetalous, 4 in 2 pairs (sometimes 1 pair sterile), additional staminode 0(1), anther sacs unequal; ovary superior, chambers 1--2, placentas 2--4, parietal, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: capsule, generally +- ovoid, loculicidal, valves 2--4. Seed: many, small, angled; surface smooth or netted.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 2060 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate and Africa. Note: High yield losses in many crops caused by Orobanche and Phelipanche species in Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East, and eastern Europe. Taxa of Orobanche in TJM2 treated here in Aphyllon and Phelipanche.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert W. Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CastillejaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to subshrub, green. Leaf: sessile, entire to dissected. Inflorescence: spike-like; bracts becoming shorter, wider, more lobed than leaves, mature tips generally cream to red or green. Flower: calyx unequally 4-lobed, colored like bract tips; corolla upper 2 lip lobes fused, beak-like, tip open, lower lip reduced, 3-toothed to -pouched; stamens 4, anther sacs 2, unequal; stigma entire to 2-lobed, generally exserted. Fruit: +- asymmetric. Seed: generally +- brown, attached at base; coat netted, net-like walls ladder-like or not.
Etymology: (Domingo Castillejo, Spanish botanist, 1744--1793) Note: Hybridization and polyploidy common. Biologically consistent taxa difficult to define. Castilleja chrymactis Pennell not in California, sole (1947) record a misidentified, incomplete specimen.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, T.I. Chuang & Lawrence R. Heckard
Reference: Tank & Olmstead 2008 Amer J Bot 95:608--625
Unabridged Reference: Chuang & Heckard 1991 Syst Bot 16:644--666
Species: Castilleja densifloraView Description 

Habit: Annual 10--40 cm, branches 0 or few from mid-stem, +- glabrous. Leaf: 20--80 mm, < 3 mm wide, lance-linear, lobes 0--3. Inflorescence: 3--25 cm, 2.5--4 cm wide; bracts 10--25 mm, tipped white or +- purple, lobes 3--5, linear. Flower: calyx divided 1/2 abaxially and on sides, 2/3 adaxially, lobes +- linear, tip wider; corolla 10--25 mm, yellow (cream), pink, or rose-purple, beak 5--6 mm, straight, puberulent, lower lip 4--5 mm, pouches 4--6 mm wide, 2--3 mm deep; filaments glabrous; stigma +- exserted, +- 2-lobed. Fruit: 7--10 mm. Seed: +- 0.5 mm; coat shallowly netted, loose-fitting. Chromosomes: 2n=24.
Note: Highly variable; many local forms; more study needed.
Castilleja densiflora (Benth.) T.I. Chuang & Heckard subsp. gracilis (Benth.) T.I. Chuang & Heckard
Inflorescence: rose-purple; bracts < flowers. Flower: calyx 5--10 mm; corolla exserted, lower lip widened abruptly, pouches generally shorter than deep, teeth generally < 1 mm.
Ecology: Grassland; Elevation: < 1550 m. Bioregional Distribution: SCoR, SW; Distribution Outside California: northern Baja California. Flowering Time: Mar--May
Synonyms: Orthocarpus densiflorus Benth. var. gracilis (Benth.) D.D. Keck; Orthocarpus densiflorus subsp. gracilis Benth.
Jepson eFlora Author: Margriet Wetherwax, T.I. Chuang & Lawrence R. Heckard
Reference: Tank & Olmstead 2008 Amer J Bot 95:608--625
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis

botanical illustration including Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis

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Citation for this treatment: Margriet Wetherwax, T.I. Chuang & Lawrence R. Heckard 2012, Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 21, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 21, 2024.

Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis
click for enlargement
©2017 Keir Morse
Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis
click for enlargement
©2015 Keir Morse
Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis
click for enlargement
©2015 Keir Morse
Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis
click for enlargement
©2015 Keir Morse
Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis
click for enlargement
©2015 Keir Morse

More photos of Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Castilleja densiflora subsp. gracilis:
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).