Our Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja wightii, is but one of several hundred different species of paintbrushes that grow in many different parts of the world. The first of these plants was identified in Columbia, South America, by Jose Celestino Mutis in 1782. He named the genus after Spanish botanist Domingo Castillejo. The species name of our particular paintbrush honors an English botanist by the name of William Franklin Wight.

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

Indiasn Paintbrush

Legend (in this country) has it that an American Indian youngster aspired to paint the sunset. He asked the Great Spirit for assistance and was given paintbrushes loaded with the colors that he required. When he was done creating his masterpiece, he left his paintbrushes scattered over the landscape and these are what we find in our meadows and hillsides. You will usually find our Indian Paintbrush blooming from March through July.

The red "flowers' of Indian Paintbrush are actually modified leaves called bracts.
The real flowers are located at the base of the bracts and are small yellowish-pink in color.