Montana Outdoors

August 1, 2010

The Paints

When the flower Indian Paintbrush is mentioned, the first image that comes to mind is of the red one.

Red Indian PaintbrushCommon Red Paintbrush, Castilleja miniata

Last year I also found a very pretty yellow one,

Yellow Indian PaintbrushAlpine paintbrush, Castilleja rhexiflolia

but while returning from the trip to Mt Headley I was surprised to see some growing on a hillside above the road that were a quite distinct orange which I believe are also Castilleja miniata.

Orange Indian Paintbrush

Orange Indian Paintbrush


  1. This orange is the color we see in the spring in the Texas Hill Country.


    Comment by Linda — August 2, 2010 @ 8:17 am

    • It’s a beautiful color for them! They would be especially pretty in the Hill Country. I’m surprised I haven’t seen orange ones before: perhaps they are not very common here.


      Comment by montucky — August 2, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

  2. I didn’t know about the yellow ones! I like them all.


    Comment by sandy — August 2, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

    • I don’t see many yellow ones. These particular ones are the most colorful I’ve seen: most of the yellows are more of a pale green and don’t stand out.


      Comment by montucky — August 2, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

  3. The orange one is really pretty.


    Comment by kateri — August 2, 2010 @ 5:21 pm

    • It is a pleasant shade of orange, isn’t it! I was quite happy to see those!


      Comment by montucky — August 2, 2010 @ 7:57 pm

  4. All are beautiful, and I especially like the Red Paintbrush.


    Comment by Anna — August 3, 2010 @ 7:12 am

    • Hard to beat the red, isn’t it. On a back road today the red Paints were thick! It’s getting to that time of the summer.


      Comment by montucky — August 3, 2010 @ 10:13 pm

  5. Those are spectacular shots of the beautiful wildflowers!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — August 3, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    • It’s hard to go wrong on these. I’ve loved the paints all my life.


      Comment by montucky — August 3, 2010 @ 10:14 pm

  6. Lovey color and detail in these, nicely done !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — August 4, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

  7. Nature never fails to throw in some surprises, does she? How pretty it would be to see a hillside covered with all 3 of these lovely colors.


    Comment by Candace — August 4, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    • It would be very pretty! I haven’t seen all of the colors together, but this time of year there are places where there are lots of the reds, and I’ve seen scenes where they intermingle with bear grass blossoms which is a pretty sight.


      Comment by montucky — August 4, 2010 @ 9:52 pm

  8. Wow, so great photos. I love most of all the first, the last. Really lovely colors in Your photos.


    Comment by sartenada — August 5, 2010 @ 11:24 pm

    • THese are pretty robust wildflowers, and the colors are quite distinctive, leaving no doubt as to what they are once you’ve seen the Indian Paintbrush. It really caughrt my imagination when I was a child.


      Comment by montucky — August 6, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

  9. red is what I think of. Is it true these were used to make dyes? perfect with the different colors!


    Comment by silken — August 7, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

    • Red is by far the most common and until I saw the orange ones I thought it was the showiest (now it’s a toss up). I’d love to have a bunch of these in a flower garden! I don’t know about making dye from them but it should be possible. There’s something that makes the bright color.


      Comment by montucky — August 7, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

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