Indian Paint Brush

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Wildflowers, Plants and Ferns, Pacific Northwest

Indian Paint Brush, BC Coastal Region
Indian Paintbrush, Photo By Bud Logan

I remember when I was a young lad and some friends of mine were working at the Wickaninnish Inn, I could visit them and stay for free at the old lodge which was a place where the employees lived.

While I was there, I loved to go for walks along the rocky shoreline that runs parallel to the Wild Pacific Trail, as I would walk along I would spot flashes of bright red in the sand or in the rock crevasse on the bluffs, this was the Indian Paintbrush plant.

All spring, summer and fall, the west coast is ablaze with Indian Paint brush. It can be found throughout all of British Columbia and the greater Pacific Northwest. Plus all of Vancouver Island. It grows all over the Campbell River area. They grow in groups with a long tube like stems, pointy leaves and bright red blooms on the end.

Indian Paint Brush, BC Coastal Region
Indian Paintbrush, Photo By Bud Logan

If you see the bright red flowers of this plant, look around to see if you can find kinnikinnick nearby. There’s a good chance you will see some, because , on the west coast, it tends to grow alongside kinnikinnick, robbing it of nutrients.

On the east coast of the Island, Indian Paintbrush grows mostly alongside the ox eye daisy. Indian paintbrush is partially parasitic, which means that instead of making all its food through photosynthesis, it steals some nutrients by connecting its roots to those of nearby plants.

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