This species is wide ranging in the higher regions of the Sierra Madre Occidental in the states of NW Mexico as far south as northern Durango and Sinaloa. It occurs in the United States only in the Chiricahua and Huachuca Mountains of SE Arizona and the adjacent Animas Mountains of SW New Mexico. It is replaced in central and southern Mexico by the related species, C. pectinata.
Among the North American Castillejas found north of Mexico, Castilleja patriotica is unique in the widely divaricate side-lobes of its divided leaves.
Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougal 1973
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous to suffrutescent perennials, stems puberulent or short-pilose with retrorse hairs, plants often partially root parasitic. Leaves: Alternate, sessile, leaves below the inflorescence mostly deeply cleft or pinnatifid, often with more than 2 lateral lobes. Flowers: Red, strongly 2-lipped, 3-5 cm long, the upper lip 2-lobed, the lobes lanceolate or broader, tips obtuse, sometimes dentate, the upper lip considerably longer than the corolla tube, the lower lip green, short, 3-toothed, subtended by conspicuous reddish bracts, the calyx cleft much deeper below than behind, stamens 4, in pairs, flowers borne in terminal spikes. Fruits: Loculicidal capsule. Many seeded. Ecology: Found in openings in pine forests around 8,000 ft (2438 m); flowering July-September. Distribution: Southeastern Arizona; Mexico. Notes: The keys to this species are the short-pilose stems, the long upper lip with 2 lobes, these lanceolate or broader, and the leaves below the inflorescence deeply cleft to pinnatifid, usually with more than 2 lobes. Ethnobotany: There is no specific use recorded for the species, but the genus has many uses. Etymology: Castilleja is named for Professor Domingo Castillejo (1744-1793), a Spanish botanist and instructor of botany at Cadiz, Spain, while the meaning of patriotica is unknown. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher 2011