Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wyoming State Flower

Indian Paintbrush
Castilleja linariaefolia

Indian Paintbrush or Painted Cup (Castilleja linariaefolia) was adopted as the State Flower on January 31, 1917.

What wikipedia say:

The flowers of indian paintbrush are edible and sweet, and were consumed in moderation by various American IndCastilleja, commonly known as Indian paintbrush or Prairie-fire, is a
genus of about 200 species of annual and perennial herbaceous plants native to the west of the Americas from Alaska south to the Andes, as well as northeast Asia.

They are semi-
parasitic on the roots of grasses and forbs.ian tribes as a condiment with other fresh greens. These plants have a tendency to absorb and concentrate Selenium in their tissues from the soils in which they grow, and can be potentially very toxic if the roots or green parts of the plant are consumed.
The Chippewa Indians used a hairwash made from Indian Paintbrush to make their hair glossy and full bodied and as a treatment for rheumatism. The high selenium content of this plant has been cited as the reason for its effectiveness for these purposes. Nevada Indian Tribes used the plant to treat venereal diseases and to enhance the immune system. Various other tribes used the plant as its name suggests -- as a paintbrush .
The high Selenium content of this plant makes it potentially toxic if consumed in large quantities. This plant should be avoided as food if found growing in highly alkaline soils, which will increase the selenium levels in the plants. Indian Paintbrush has similar health benefits to consuming
garlic if only the flowers are eaten in small amounts and in moderation. [2]

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