Leafl. W. Bot. 5: 91. 1948.
Herbs, perennial, 10 dm; from a woody caudex; with a taproot. Stems several, erect, decumbent at base, unbranched proximally, branched distally, glabrous proximally, hairy distally, hairs sparse, short, stiff. Leaves green, proximal linear, reduced, middle and distal lanceolate to narrowly elliptic or ovate, proximal 0.5–1.5 cm, middle 6–7 cm (0.8–1.5 cm wide), distal 4–6 cm (2.5–2.3 cm wide), not fleshy, margins plane to sometimes ± wavy, ± involute, 0–3-lobed, apex acute; lobes ascending, lanceolate, apex acute or acuminate. Inflorescences 10–14+ × 6 cm; bracts proximally dull greenish to dull brownish, distally pale orange to reddish, cuneate to obovate-truncate, 3–5 (–9) -lobed, with white, stiff hairs mostly along veins; lobes ascending to erect, broadly lanceolate or oblong, medium length, arising at or above mid length, center lobe apex rounded, sometimes toothed, others acute to sometimes rounded. Calyces distally reddish, 20–28 mm; abaxial and adaxial clefts 12–15 mm, 50–60% of calyx length, deeper than laterals, lateral (0–) 2–6 mm, 0–25% of calyx length; lobes lanceolate, apex acute. Corollas straight, 25–30 mm; tube 12–15 mm; beak subequal or ± exserted, adaxially green, 12–15 mm; abaxial lip deep green, reduced, strongly saccate-corrugated, 1.5 mm, 10% as long as beak; teeth incurved, reduced, green, 1 mm.
Phenology: Flowering Jun.
Habitat: Dune swales, swampy ground, near coast.
Elevation: 0–100 m.
Castilleja leschkeana was based on a 1947 specimen from a swale near the radio station on Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County. It was found again in 1960, but the species has not been seen or collected since then. The type specimen of C. leschkeana was identified as the Alaskan species C. chrymactis by T. I. Chuang and L. R. Heckard (1993), who considered the California population to be an accidental introduction. However, the flowers of C. leschkeana are shorter than those of C. chrymactis, with a shorter beak that is scarcely exserted. The bract blade and bract lobes of C. leschkeana are shorter, and the pubescence of its bracts is very different, short-hispid and more prominent along the veins than on the blades, contrasting with the longer and soft-villous pubescence of C. chrymactis. M. Wetherwax et al. (2012) agreed that the Point Reyes specimen was misidentified as C. chrymactis, but they were hesitant to place it in any accepted California taxon. Castilleja leschkeana is here recognized as another narrow endemic, worthy of conservation concern if it is relocated.
"medium" is not a number.