New flower species found in Montana

Posted: May 6, 2013

Written by

NEIL SNOW & EVE BYRON, Independent Record
Castilleja kerryana

When Pete Lesica and Dave Hanna get their boots on the ground, they like to keep their eyes there, too.

Their intense focus on flora paid off in 2009 when the duo found what they thought might be a new species of Indian paintbrush deep in the heart of the Scapegoat Wilderness Area.

Lesica contacted J. Mark Egger, a science teacher in Seattle and taxonomic expert on Castilleja and sent him samples and photographs.

Paintbrushes are well-known wildflowers that often grace mountainsides and meadows, brightening them with splashes of scarlet, purple, yellow or orange. Egger said this new species is different size and color — it’s more crimson — than others.

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