Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 99: 184. 1947.
Herbs, perennial, 1.7–6.5 dm; from a woody caudex; with a taproot. Stems few-to-many, decumbent to ascending, much-branched, with leafy axillary shoots, villous, hairs spreading, long, stiff to soft, eglandular, mixed with short-glandular ones. Leaves gray-green becoming ± purple, or green, ± cupshaped, oblong to narrowly elliptic or suborbicular, 0.5–2 (–5) cm, ± fleshy, cupulate throughout, sometimes obscurely so on distal portion of stem, margins plane, flat to involute, 0–3-lobed, apex rounded; lobes ascending, oblong to rounded, apex truncate or rounded, sometimes ± acute. Inflorescences 5–23 × 1.5–3.5 cm; bracts proximally greenish, distally bright red or red-orange, sometimes orange, oblong, ovate, or widely cuneate to widely obovate to suborbiculate, sometimes cupshaped, 0–3-lobed, sometimes with 3 additional shallow teeth at tip of central lobe; lobes erect, oblong to broadly triangular, short, arising above mid length, apex truncate, rounded, or obtuse, lateral ones sometimes acute. Calyces colored as bracts, often with a yellow central band, 20–31 mm; abaxial and adaxial clefts 8–12 mm, ca. 50% of calyx length, deeper than laterals, lateral 2–6 mm, 10–15% of calyx length; lobes oblong to broadly or narrowly triangular, apex obtuse or rounded, sometimes acute. Corollas straight or slightly curved, 28–45 mm; tube 18–20 mm; beak exserted, adaxially green or yellow-green, 15–25 mm; abaxial lip deep green, reduced, visible in front cleft, 1–1.5 mm, 10% as long as beak; teeth incurved, green, 0.5–1 mm. 2n = 72.
Phenology: Flowering Apr–Aug.
Habitat: Coastal scrub, headlands, sea bluffs, over sandstone or serpentine.
Elevation: 0–100 m.
Castilleja mendocinensis is a coastal plant from Mendocino County, California, northward to Curry County, Oregon. Its close relative, C. latifolia, occurs in similar habitats south of San Francisco Bay. There is one known population in Oregon, and a number of California localities are threatened by coastal development.
"truncate" is not a number.