Nature Notes

Vol. II July 16, 1924 No. 5


Due to the dryness of the season the mass of wild flowers have come early in the high meadows and will not stay with us so long as in normal seasons but while many of the flowers will be stunted and there life shortened the red indian paint-brush seems to be improved by the dry weather. Visitors always wonder at the depth and richness of the colors of the common red variety (Castilleia oreopold) but this season the color is richer and the masses greater than every before. At present it is the dominant red flower of the alpine meadows. There are two other species of Castilleia, one growing in dry areas is orange in color and grows ranker and the second is pure white but unfortunately it is very rarely found.

An interesting note on this flower is that the conspicuous tuft of bracts which looks like a brush dipped in red paint is not the flower at all but merely a bunch of modified leaves, the flower proper being quite inconspicuous and entirely hidden by the red leaves. This species like the avalanche lily commonly pushes it's way through the edge of the receding snow and often early in the spring it may be found blooming through the snow with the white lily.


Almost all of the lovely blossoms for which this Park is world famous, wither within a very few hours after picking and the plants from which they are torn bleed and die. Left to bloom undisturbed they will spread their beauty over many weeks, even months and will be alive and sturdy to repeat their free flower show next season.

You are only one of many hundreds of thousands to whom these flowers belong. Those who come after you, have as much right to the enjoyment of these God-given beauties as you have.

Unpicked flowers give unending enjoyment.

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