Physical Characteristics – A perennial plant, and member of the figwort family. Stems reach 20 – 60 cm in height, and are covered sparsely with linear leaves, which grow from 5 – 7 cm in length. Flowers can be pinkish-red or a variety of colors, and grow in spikes at the heads of stems.
Habitat – Prefer well-drained, open foothills. Also found in montane zones throughout Clearwater.
Range – British Columbia and Alberta south to New Mexico.
Reproduction – Blooms each year from June – September in its native range.
Threats – Difficult to transplant successfully (don’t disturb wild plants).
Miscellaneous – Some researchers believe hummingbirds and paintbrushes evolved together. Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, have no sense of smell, and need large amounts of nectar. Paintbrush are a variety of colors, have little to no scent, and produce abundant nectar. Hummingbirds’ long bills are also well fitted to the plant’s flowers.