USA Official State Flower Official Wyoming State Flower


Indian Paintbrush

(Castilleja linariaefolia)
Adopted on January 31, 1917

 The Indian paintbrush, Castilleja linariaefolia, is a native wildflower in the family Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family). The Indian Paintbrush or Painted Cup (Castilleja linariaefolia) was adopted as the State Flower on January 31, 1917. The roots of the painted cups are partially parasitic on the roots of other green plants. Their true flowers are inconspicuous, but are commonly enveloped by bright red flowerlike bracts.


The Wyoming chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution supported the Indian paintbrush as Wyoming's state flower. But Dr. Grace R. Hebard gets most of the credit for its adoption. She drafted the state flower bill and found a legislator willing to sponsor it.


This flower displays various shades of orange, red and sometimes yellow. The Castilleja grows in moist areas, dry areas, and sandy prairies. Its zones range from 3 to 9. The seeds of the Indian Paintbrush usually germinate in the fall and bloom the next spring without pre-treatment. The plant prefers full sun and/or small amounts of shade. The Indian paintbrush has the ability to grow and survive in serpentine soils, which most species are not equipped to handle the stressful amounts of high magnesium, low calcium and overloaded amounts of metals such as chromium and nickel. The height of the Indian paintbrush ranges from 1 to 2 feet tall.


The flowers are edible yet they must be eaten in small quantities. They will absorb selenium, a potentially toxic, alkaline mineral compound in the soil. Where high amounts of selenium in the soil is not present, Indain Paintbrush can be enjoyed in moderation with salads. Various tribes used the flowering parts as a paintbrush. The Chippewa Indians are know the use Indian Paintbrush as a medicine to treat rheumatism and as a bath rinse to make their hair glossy. Both applications are useful due to it's selenium content

Wyoming Statutes
8-3-104. State flower.

The Castillija linariaefolia, commonly called "the Indian paint brush," is the state flower of Wyoming.


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae -- Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta -- Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass Asteridae –
Order Scrophulariales –
Family Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
Genus Castilleja Mutis ex L. f. – Indian paintbrush
Species Castilleja Mutis ex L. f. – Indian paintbrush
Castillija linariaefolia