elizabeth

20 Aug 2018 79 views
 
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photoblog image Alpine Indian Paintbrush

Alpine Indian Paintbrush

(Castilleja rhexifolia)

Broomrape Family

(Orobanchaceae)

 

There are more than two hundred varieties of Indian Paintbrush, most of them occurring in western North America.  And they are very difficult to tell apart. They are often mistaken for figworts - because of their flowers, but they are semi parasidic - placing them in the broomrape family.  One of the most common is the Wyoming Painted Cup - state flower of my home state.  This, however, is not that.  This species grows at higher elevations.  Some researchers believe that the hummingbird and paintbrush may have evolved together.  Hummingbirds need large amounts of very sweet nectar - although they have few taste buds and no sense of smell, they can see colors are are particularly attracted to red flowers.  Paintbrush have no scent, but have ample sugary nectar to give hummingbirds the energy they need for breeding and migration.

 

 

 

photoblog image Colorado Trip 130(1) copy.jpg

 

Alpine Indian Paintbrush

(Castilleja rhexifolia)

Broomrape Family

(Orobanchaceae)

 

There are more than two hundred varieties of Indian Paintbrush, most of them occurring in western North America.  And they are very difficult to tell apart. They are often mistaken for figworts - because of their flowers, but they are semi parasidic - placing them in the broomrape family.  One of the most common is the Wyoming Painted Cup - state flower of my home state.  This, however, is not that.  This species grows at higher elevations.  Some researchers believe that the hummingbird and paintbrush may have evolved together.  Hummingbirds need large amounts of very sweet nectar - although they have few taste buds and no sense of smell, they can see colors are are particularly attracted to red flowers.  Paintbrush have no scent, but have ample sugary nectar to give hummingbirds the energy they need for breeding and migration.

 

 

 

photoblog image Colorado Trip 130(1) copy.jpg

 

comments (19)

Lovely shots Elizabeth, nicely done.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thank you, Frank!
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 20 Aug 2018, 03:56
Thank you, Elizabeth...a wonderful little education to add to the lovely images.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: You're welcome... and thank you! smile
More than TWO HUNDRED varieties of this flower, Elizabeth? So I can take comfort when not even Mother Nature can decide on all her "twiddling" options!?!
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Amazing, isn't it! Oh yes!!! smile Good one, Ginnie!
  • Lisl
  • Bath, England
  • 20 Aug 2018, 06:05
I can see how they got their name, Elizabeth. Interesting you say that they are mistaken for figworts, as our figworts are completely different. Your close-up with the little hairs is very good
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Yes - one of those nicely descriptive names!
Figworts do have some variety in their looks, it seems...
Thank you, Lisl!
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 20 Aug 2018, 06:18
Gorgeous things!
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I sure think so!
  • Astrid
  • Nederland
  • 20 Aug 2018, 06:31
Thank you for the write-up, Elizabeth, that even adds more to the beauty (inner beauty) of this wonderful flower. What a great colourful "bouquet" and a great close-up.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: You're welcome, Astrid! I'm so glad - and thank you very much!
Merci pour les explications et la découverte de ces fleurs , belle chance pour le colbri une fleur à  la esure de sa beauté ..
Bonne journée
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: You're welcome, Claudine! I find botany fascinating! Thank you, Claudine!
Interest about the hummingbirds. They red and yellow flowers look good together
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Hummy's are incredible little creatures!!!
Thank you, Bill!
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 20 Aug 2018, 07:46
It is amazing that there are so many varieties of the same flower. Its only biting that such a pretty flower is the the flower of your home state smile
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Isn't it, though!
Awe- thanks, Alan!
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 20 Aug 2018, 08:32
I like the way the colours all work together so well.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Yes - They really do!
  • Ayush Basu
  • Venlo, Netherlands
  • 20 Aug 2018, 10:53
i am definitely in the population that would be unable to identify this, Elizabeth. beautiful blooms.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Well - it ain't easy with these guys. The only definitive I had was the elevation! Thanks, Ayush!
Two lovely images especially the lower one. I can almost imagine you in the evening sitting at the table pouring through all your natural history books to find all this information you are giving us.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks so much, Brian! Oh yes - it's great fun for me! smile
  • Anne
  • United Kingdom
  • 20 Aug 2018, 11:51
I particularly like the close up - all that detailed structure.
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks so much, Anne! It's an amazing blossom!
Quite a flower, and quite an evolutionary story!
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: I certainly agree!!
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 20 Aug 2018, 13:28
What a brilliant splash of colour in your main picture.

Those researchers must think twice. A dependent specie can't evolve at the same time as the provider. The provider must be established, for the dependent to discover, feed and grow. So, it suggests that the Paintbrush should be available first and distributed enough, before fledgling hummingbird chicks can feed - well the parents had to feed, too smile

So, you are soon going to show us a picture of a hummingbird in action among these flowers?
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: The colors were incredible there! smile

I do see what you are saying... and you make a very good point! Perhaps it's that the paintbrush developed its tough coating, as a protection from the hummingbirds beaks... and the deep funnel for which they can gather the nectar? Anyway... We'll contact them and ask about it smile

I'm hoping one may have come out... You might have to settle for one on my feeder... smile
A calming image...
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Thanks, Larry! I'm happy you think so!
  • sherri
  • Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
  • 21 Aug 2018, 03:08
really pretty color palette
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: Nature does a lovely job! smile
The colours are beautiful but different in each shot. Wouldn't I love a vase of those!
Elizabeth Croston Buckalew: They would make a lovely bouquet!!!
  • Bonnie
  • United States
  • 23 Aug 2018, 05:41
You/ve achieved incredible sharpness in the second photo. I like the contrasting colors in the first one very much.

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