Facts about Wyoming’s State Flower

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The Indian Paintbrush, Wyoming’s State flower, is one of 200 species native to the Western United States. From Alaska to the Andes, this beautiful red wildflower, also known as ‘œprairie fire’ give the landscape a lush, fiery appearance. Here are some interesting facts about Wyoming’ s State flower.

Fact 1: Wyoming adopted the Indian Paintbrush as its state flower on January 31, 1917.

Fact 2: The Indian Paintbrush is a native species to these other states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah.

Fact 3: The flower’s taste appeals somewhat to sheep as a food source, not so much for cattle, and horses tend to avoid eating it.

Fact 4: The height of the Indian Paintbrush is between one and two feet.

Fact 5: The flowers of the Indian Paintbrush are edible, but because of the potentially high amounts of selenium in them, should only be eaten in small quantities.

Fact 6: The Wyoming Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution fought for the adoption of a state flower and put their support behind the Indian Paintbrush.

Fact 7: Dr. Aven Nelson of the University of Wyoming and a leading botanist, opposed adoption of the Indian Paintbrush as the state flower on both technical grounds (the flower is parasitical) and political grounds (he maintained it was not popular among the people of the state).

Fact 8: The Wyoming legislature used only the name ‘œIndian Paintbrush’ by statute when writing the law even though the flower has several alternative names by which it is known.

Fact 9: The Indian Paintbrush seed is so small you can seed an entire acre with only several average sized handfuls.

Fact 10: What appears to be the red flowers of the Indian Paintbrush are actually leaves called bracts.

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