Indian Paintbrush

Gerry Snyder Photo Credit

(Castilleja linariifolia)

Physical Characteristics – Perennial plant and member of figwort family. Stems reach 20 – 60 cm in height and covered sparsely with linear leaves which grow from 5 – 7 cm in length. Flowers can be variety of colors and grow in spikes at 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.

Threats – Difficult to transplant successfully (don’t disturb wild plants).

Miscellaneous – Some researchers believe hummingbirds and paintbrushes evolved together. Hummingbirds are attracted to color red, have no sense of smell, and need large amounts of nectar – paintbrush have little to no scent and produce abundant nectar. Hummingbirds’ long bills are well fitted to plant’s flowers.

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