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)


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!