Cliff paintbrush on cliff above Elowah Falls........April 22, 2009.
Cliff paintbrush is a perennial wildflower with several stems arising from a woody base to 20 cm high. The stems are unbranched. The leaves are divided in to 3-5 lobes with the lateral lobes about as narrow as the mid-blade.
The inflorescence is brightly attractive, with bright scarlet or crimson bracts and calyxes. The bracts are 5-parted and much shorter than the flowers. The calyx is 15-25 mm long, deeply and subequally cleft above and below. The side lobes of the calyx are again divided into 2 obtuse to acute segments 1-5 mm long. The corolla ranges form 25-35 mm long with the galea roughly equal in length to slightly longer than the tube. The galea is also many times longer than the thickened, dark green, lower lip.
As its name implies, cliff paintbrush is found on rocky or cinder slopes or vertical cliffs between the elevations of 4000'-7000' (except in the Columbia River Gorge, where it may appear lower.
Cliff paintbrush is found from southern British Columbia south through the Cascades to central Oregon (eastern Lane County).
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 400'-1400' from near Angel's Rest eastward to McCord Creek.