Home Native Plant Network
NPN Protocol Details Image

Castilleja (rhexiifolia)

Tara Luna
USDI NPS - Glacier National Park
West Glacier, Montana 59936
(406) 888-7835

Family Scientific Name: Scrophulariaceae
Family Common Name: Figwort family
Scientific Name: Castilleja rhexiifolia Rydb.
Common Synonym: Castilleja rhexifolia
Common Name: Rhexi-leaved Paintbrush
Species Code: CASRHE
Ecotype: Moist forest meadows, Camas, Glacier National Park, Flathead Co., MT., 1100m elevation.
General Distribution: C. rhexiifolia occurs from B.C. and Alberta, south through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, northern New Mexico, and Utah; also in northeastern Oregon.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Container (plug)
Stock Type: 172 ml conetainers
Time To Grow: 5 Months
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Container seedling<br> Height: 5 cm<br> Caliper: n/a<br> Root System: firm plug in conetainer.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are hand collected in late August when capsules begin to split and seed is easily shaken out of the seed capsule. Seeds are dark gray at maturity.
Capsules are collected in paper bags and kept in a well ventilated drying shed prior to cleaning.
Propagule Processing: Seeds are hand cleaned at the nursery.
Seed longevity is at least 3 years at 3 to 5C in sealed containers.
Seed dormancy is classified as physiological dormancy.
Seeds/Kg: 10,780,000/kg
% Purity: 100%
% Germination: 98%
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seeds are placed into a 150 day cold, moist stratification using moistened paper towels in an unsealed ziplock bag in a refrigerator at 2C or they can be fall sown outdoors.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Greenhouse and Outdoor Nursery growing facility.
Sowing Method: Direct Seeding. Seeds are lightly covered with medium.
Growing medum used is 6:1:1 milled sphagnum peat, perlite, and vermiculitewith Osmocote controlled release fertilizer (13N:13P2O5:13K2O; 8 to 9 month release rate at 21C) and Micromax fertilizer (12%S, 0.1%B, 0.5%Cu, 12%Fe, 2.5%Mn, 0.05%Mo, 1%Zn) at the rate of 1 gram of Osmocote and 0.20 gram of Micromax per 172 ml conetainer.

Greenhouse temperatures are maintained at 21 to 25C during the day and 16 to 18C at night. Seedlings are hand watered and remain in greenhouse until mid May. Seedlings are then moved to outdoor nursery for the remainder of the growing season.
Seedlings are irrigated with Rainbird automatic irrigation system in early morning until containers are thoroughly leached.
Average growing season of nursery is from late April after snowmelt until October 15th.
Establishment Phase: Medium is kept slightly moist during germination. Initial germination was uniform and appeared complete in 3 weeks. Germination occurred at 21C or above during the day.
Host root exudates are not required for germination; the seedlings grew vigorously until they produce 4 to 8 true leaves. At this stage, 3 to 4 weeks after germination, it is necessary to companion plant a host seedling (Carex hoodii was used) to further growth and development of the seedling. The haustoria roots are then induced by the presence of the exudates of the host roots and the hemi-parasitic relationship is then established.
Length of Establishment Phase: 4 weeks
Active Growth Phase: Root and shoot development occur at a rapid rate after the haustoria are formed. Plants had formed 15 to 25 true leaves, were 3 cm in height and root tight in 8 weeks. It is necessary to keep the growth of the companion plant in check, so it does not out compete the Castilleja seedling in the container.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 8 weeks
Hardening Phase: Irrigation is gradually reduced in September and October. Plants are leached with clear water once before winterization.
Length of Hardening Phase: 4 weeks
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time To Harvest: 5 months

Harvest Date: September
Storage Conditions: Overwinter in outdoor nursery under insulating foam cover and snow.
Length of Storage: 5 months
Other Comments: Castilleja species are hemiparasitic; the larger seed size of members of the Scrophulariaceae allows for the establishment of the seedling without the radicle having to make contact with a host root immediately; however, introduction of a host is necessary for continued growth and development.
Seedlings that were not companion planted began to decline in vigor 8 weeks after germination.
References: Flora of the Pacific Northwest, Hitchcock and Cronquist, 7th edition, University of Washington Press, 1973.
Seeding Rate Statistics for Native and Introduced Species, Hassell, Wendel, U.S.D.I. and U.S.D.A., April 1996.
Seeds: Ecology, Biogeography, and Evolution of Dormancy and Germination, Baskin and Baskin, Academic Press, 1998.
Seed Germination Theory and Practice, Deno, Norman, Penn State University, 1993.
Glacier National Park Native Plant Nursery Propagation Records, unpublished.


Luna, Tara; Wick, Dale. 2008. Propagation protocol for production of Container (plug) Castilleja rhexiifolia Rydb. plants 172 ml conetainers; USDI NPS - Glacier National Park West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/08/05). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

Personal tools