Elegant Paintbrush Discovery
Exciting finding! Two paintbrush specimens, collected in 2018, have been tentatively identified as Castilleja elegans, or elegant paintbrush.
While this species was historically documented in Alberta, it has not been recorded in the province in 75 years and was generally not considered to be present in the province anymore. Elegant paintbrush is a primarily Arctic species, and Rocky Mountain populations are disjunct from its main range by nearly 2,000 kilometers. Collection sites were both located in the Rocky Mountains, west of Nordegg and north of Banff townsite. Specimens were kindly identified by Mark Egger at the University of Washington herbarium.
Photo Credit: Mark Egger.