Bryce Canyon Paintbrush
A rare member of the figwort family, this flower only grows in the Bryce Canyon National Park region. It was first described from specimens found in the park. This species of paintbrush is one of the smallest of the genus, seldom growing more than 6 inches tall. It can range from pale to deep fuchsia in color.
This species of paintbrush can be found on the rocky soil along the Peekaboo Trail, Queen's Garden Trail, and the Fairyland Trail.
The main body of the true flower in all paintbrush species is actually hidden within the colorfully evolved tubal leaves which appear to be the flower. This style of modified leaves supports the theory that flowers may be an evolutionary functional divergence from leaves. Like most paintbrushes, this species is semi-parasitic, producing only part of the food it needs through its own photosynthesis. The rest of its nutritional needs it acquires from other plants by penetrating the host plant's roots with its own.
Cronquist, Holmgren, et. al. 1984. Intermountain Flora - Volume Four.
Spence, John and Buchanan, Hayle. 1993. "1993 Update, Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah." The Great Basin Naturalist, Volume 53, No. 3.
Welsh, Treshow, and Moore. 1965. Common Utah Plants. Brigham Young University. Provo, Utah.
Last updated: June 16, 2023