The Indian paintbrush or painted cup seems more like a western flower than one of the central or eastern plants, and it is true that it very likely migrated into Illinois with the coming of other plant- of the Great Plains. Paintbrush is most commonly known as part of that western scene which includes the rarified air of mountains or the dusty roadsides of the plains. Indian paintbrush is a plant of the prairies and sands, ye1 in Colorado it may be found from the lowest of the foothills where the lark buntings fly, to the upper flower meadows at ten thousand feet where mountain bluebirds nest. In the sand country of Illinois, the Indian paintbrush also thrive.-. bu1 it is not common.
Castilleja coccinea (L.) Spreng.
May - June. Open bills, roadsides.
Indian paintbrush was appropriately earned for a Spanish botanist named Domingo Castillejo appropriate because the Indian paintbrush of the west was seen by the earliest Spanish explorers and adventurers who penetrated that wild and unknown wilderness of sage and rocks and rattlesnakes in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola.
The plant i- a foot or two tall and grows in a clump. Thin, narrow. hairy leaves are placed alternately along the stem. The flower bead is composed of bright scarlet Bower-like leaves and yellow corolla tubes with protruding pistils. The combination of the colored leave- and flowers gives that dipped-in-paint effect which named the Indian paintbrush, a name by which it is known wherever it grows. The Castilleja is parasitic upon the roots of other plant- and therefore cannot be transplanted. It blooms in May and June.