Mountain Indian Paintbrush - Castelleia parviflora
The Mountain Indian Paintbrush, as it is commonly known, is a perennial wildflower native to the western united states and Canada. It dwells in high mountain habitats, including areas of highland climate. It can grow up to 40 centimeters tall. The plant is coated in glandular and nonglandular hairs. The leaves vary in shape from long and lance shaped to oblong; each being only a few centimeters long. The bracts, or modified leaves, are tipped in colors ranging from bright red, pinks, to pale yellows. From these bracts emerge tubular flowers that can range from yellow-green to red-tinted.
Indian folklore of these flowers tell the tale of a young brave who wished to paint the sunset with his war paints. After realizing he would not be able to replicate the brilliance of nature with his paints, he sought guidance from the Great Spirit asking that he be given the ability to paint the sunset. In response the Great Spirit gave him paint brushes laden with the colors he wished for. After creating his masterpiece, the young brave then scattered his paint brushes across the landscape, resulting in the Mountain Indian Paintbrush wildflowers.
Crimson Columbine - Aquilegia formosa Fischer
Native to North America from Alaska to Baja California and eastward to Wyoming and Montana, the Crimson Columbine is a common and attractive wildflower. The crimson columbine can be found in most types of habitats excluding those of desert floors and altitudes over 10,000 feet. It does prefer moist locations so it will be found typically near streams. They average in height at 60 centimeters but can grow both larger and smaller. The flowers typically bloom from April until August. The blooms are about 5 centimeters long and offer brilliant red, orange, and yellow colors. The flowers are edible and contain a sweet taste, however the seeds can be fatal if eaten. The Crimson Columbine is also used to create perfumes and medicines by various Native American Tribes.
Lupine - Lupinus latifolius
The Lupinus latifolius is one of the over 200 species of lupine that range from British Columbia to Baja California and New Mexico. This species is commonly known as the broadleaf lupine. This lupine is a perennial herb that ranges in height from approximately 30 centimeters to over two meters in height. The plant can range from having a texture like hair to having no texture at all. Each leaf is made up of several leaflets. On larger plants these can grow up to 10 centimeters long. The inflorescence, or cluster of flowers on a single stem, will bear many flowers. Flower colors range from white to blue to purple. Flowers are typically one to two centimeters in length.
Fred Schenkelberg, camper and photographer, has compiled a Flower Book with information and photos of many flowers found on the trails around the camp. If you would like to purchase this book, please visit this website: www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/683779.