Indian Paintbrush –

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush –

Indian Paintbrush is another wildflower with a sweet name. The name comes from the look of the leaves – they look half-dipped into red paint.  If you look close you can see the circular red blooms, but also that half of each green leaf is dipped into red.  It’s an extra little trick to lure in pollinators…flash lots of color.

They are usually a reddish-orange color, but they can also be yellow, white, and even slightly pink.  They are native to the North American prairie, but grow in the Rocky Mountains too.  The delicate flower has been nicknamed “prairie-fire” since it has the color of fire when large colonies of them are viewed from a distance.

It is easy to imagine an Indian artist from hundreds, or thousands, of years ago using a green plant for a brush and a thick red native dye for paint…then leaving the brush sticking up to dry in the summer sun.

One of the best things about wildflowers is their creative, common sense names.

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