Hwy. 1A, Bow Valley Parkway, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada
Canon EOS T4i; 18-200 mm lens

Castilleja, commonly known as Indian paintbrush or prairie-fire, is a genus of about 200 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants native to the west of the Americas from Alaska south to the Andes, northern Asia, and one species as far west as the Kola Peninsula in Siberia. These plants are classified in the broomrape family, Orobanchaceae (following major rearrangements of the order Lamiales starting around 2001; sources which do not follow these reclassifications may place them in the Scrophulariaceae). They are hemiparasitic on the roots of grasses and forbs.
The flowers of Indian paintbrush are edible, and were consumed in moderation by various Native American tribes as a condiment with other fresh greens. These plants have a tendency to absorb and concentrate selenium in their tissues from the soils in which they grow, and can be potentially very toxic if the roots or green parts of the plant are consumed. Highly alkaline soils increase the selenium levels in the plants. Indian paintbrush has similar health benefits to consuming garlic if only the flowers are eaten in small amounts and in moderation.3

The Ojibwe used a hairwash made from Indian paintbrush to make their hair glossy and full bodied, and as a treatment for rheumatism. The high selenium content of this plant has been cited as the reason for its effectiveness for these purposes. Nevada Indian tribes used the plant to treat sexually transmitted diseases and to enhance the immune system.


indian paintbrush, wildflowers, red wildflowers, flowers, wild, banff national park, alberta, canada

Self taught photographer enjoying retirement in travel and meeting fellow members of Redbubble.

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  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsalmost 2 years ago

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonalmost 2 years ago

    Natures Paintbrush

    BEAUTIFUL work,

  • thank you Ann

    – Vickie Emms

  • Vicki Spindler (VHS Photography)
    Vicki Spindler...almost 2 years ago

    Wonderful capture!!! :))))))))))))

  • many thanks Vicki

    – Vickie Emms

  • lorilee
    lorileealmost 2 years ago


  • thank you Lori

    – Vickie Emms

  • Dlouise
    Dlouisealmost 2 years ago

    Very beautiful Vickie, and great info!!

  • thank you D

    – Vickie Emms

  • CanyonWind
  • thanks so much POPS

    – Vickie Emms

  • billfox256
    billfox256almost 2 years ago

    A wonderful burst of color in this excellent capture!!! Congratulations on being featured!! Bill

  • thank you Bill

    – Vickie Emms

  • maggie326
    maggie326almost 2 years ago

    Gorgeous capture Vickie beautiful colors

  • thanks Maggie

    – Vickie Emms

  • Julie  White
    Julie Whitealmost 2 years ago

    Beautifully captured vickie.

  • thanks Julie

    – Vickie Emms

  • Conoro
    Conoroalmost 2 years ago

    I love these flowers Vickie, they transform the fields and roadsides with their fire. This is a beautiful capture :-)

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