Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Indian paintbrush

Not the breathtaking scarlet, orange and yellow prairie flowers I was expecting, a rather more pallid view, but spring was slow in coming to North Dakota this year and the wildflowers were a few weeks behind schedule. A hint of color is just beginning to show on a few of the bracts in this pic and the leaves are shaped something like birds' feet.

Indian Paintbrush is sort of interesting in that it's partially parisitic - it derives some of its nutrients from other plants. Common hosts are little bluestem, blue-eyed grass and prairie smoke. There are at least 200 different species that are near impossible to separate from one another.

(End of geeky plant interlude)

6 comments:

egretsnest said...

Sorry you didn't get to see it in all its glory -- it's a beautiful flower!

cedrorum said...

The indian paintbrush flowers I was used to seeing when I lived out west was the genera with the bright orange flowers. I've never seen the one in your picture.

Mike said...

I haven't seen Indian Paintbrushes in way too long! When I lived in Texas, wildflower season was a revelation.

I've got to tell you, Laura, I never thought I'd envy a trip to North Dakota but you've made it sound splendid!

dguzman said...

Boy, just ditto what Mike said--I do miss the Indian blankets, the Indian paintbrush, the bluebonnets. But not the heat! It's in the 60s today in PA! hee hee hee!

NCmountainwoman said...

I you didn't know their true color, you would think they are lovely just the way they are.

Rabbits' Guy said...

It is amazing what a bit of rain can do for flowers in the desert too!

A note about that rant in the last post! (I missed it the first time around.) I think it was Henry Winkler (Fonzie) who says "Assumptions are the termites of relationships." I think too, Expectations are the termites of happiness.

I worked quite a while for a really BIG and GOOD company and me and my buddies all thought we were a big reason for that ... gosh, that is what all the classes and company blurbs told us! Then we all quit or retired or what-ever. Last I looked that company is going as good as ever .. I was pretty much a nothing there! So ya .. don't take your self too seriously!