Wyoming is a beautiful state with lots of wide-open spaces, towering mountains, and wild forests. In 1917, Wyoming declared the native Indian Paintbrush as their state floral emblem. The Indian Paintbrush, also known as prairie fire, painted cup, or Wyoming Paintbrush is a perennial member of the figwort family. It is a semi-parasitic plant, meaning it gets nutrients and water from a host plant it attaches to under the soil, since it cannot live without a host plant.
The Indian Paintbrush is known for its bright red flower-like bracts, which look like they’ve been dipped in red paint. It is grown in clusters on the top part of the plant. The true flower of the plant is quite inconspicuous and often overlooked. It has long, narrow leaves that are hairy just below where the flower grows and the plants are typically 1–3 ft tall. The plant is native to much of western North America from Arizona to British Columbia and grown in zones 3-9.
Indian Paintbrush, in front of Mount Saint Helens, located in Washington State.