Castilleja exserta var. venusta
Phytologia 90: 70. 2008.
Herbs 0.4–2.3 dm. Inflorescences 2–12.5 cm; bracts: distal apices pink, light purple, or yellow or orange-spotted, 4–5.5 mm, (3–) 5 (–7) -lobed; lobes linear to narrowly spatulate, 2 × 0.8–1.2 mm. Calyces 16–19 mm; abaxial clefts 6.5–9.5 mm, adaxial 9–13 mm, clefts 40–70% of calyx length, lateral 5.5–8 mm, 34–45% of calyx length. Corollas 20–27 mm; tube 13–15 mm; beak 7–10 mm; abaxial lip deep red-purple proximally, distal 1/4 bright-yellow to yellow-orange, becoming orange or red after anthesis, 4–7 mm.
Phenology: Flowering (Mar–)Apr–May(–Jul).
Habitat: Dry sand, desert washes, creosote scrub, saltbush flats.
Elevation: 300–1500 m.
Variety venusta is endemic to the western Mojave Desert region of southern California. Typical var. exserta is found east and west of it, in less arid grasslands. In var. venusta, the corolla is consistently different in color pattern and intensity from var. exserta.
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