The western Indian paintbrush (Castilleja occidentalis) belongs to Scrophulariaceae (the Figwort family). It is a perennial herb that is distributed widely, from the Rocky Mountains north to British Columbia, Alberta and south to Utah and New Mexico. It is a hemi-parasite. This herb grows in alpine regions, tundra, meadows and forest openings, and up to a height of 10-25 cm. The leaves are lanceolate, alternate and usually undivided. The flowers bloom from June to September. The bracts are pale yellow to nearly white. The western paintbrush is often parasitic associated with Tufted hairgrass (Deschampsia caespitosa), Golden avens (Geum rossii), and Bellard kobresia (Kobresia myosuroides).