Castilleja sp - Indian Paintbrush

Castilleja sp – Indian Paintbrush

You can file this specimen under “what are you doing blooming on July 14?”, which is when the picture was taken.  Usual bloom period for the Castilleja indivisa species, which this appears to be, is March through May.  Then again, this was a fairly isolated specimen, so it just might be a case of a statistical outlier due to local circumstances.

The colorful part of the plant is due to bracts, leaflike parts of a plant appearing just below the flower, and not actual flower petals.  The actual flower petals are small and white and can be seen at the top of the plant in this picture.

The Indian Paintbrush is something of a parasite, in that its roots grow until they reach the roots of a host plant. Then they hijack the nutrients provided by the host plant’s root system.