Stem. - Hairy, erect. Leaves. - Hairy, oblong, close to the ground. Flower-heads. - Orange-red, composed entirely of strap - shaped flowers, clustered.
In parts of New York and of New England the midsummer meadows are ablaze with the brilliant orange-red flowers of this striking European weed. It is among the more recent emigrants to this country and bids fair to become an annoyance to the farmer, hence its not altogether inappropriate title of devil's paintbrush. In England it was called "Grimm the Collier," on account of its black hairs and after a comedy of the same title which was popular during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Both its common and generic names refer to an ancient superstition to the effect that birds of prey used the juice of this genus to strengthen their eyesight.