One of my favorite wildflowers is 'Indian Paintbrush'.
There are a couple legends associated with this wildflower, which I think makes them even more charming!
The first is attributed to Mable Burkholder's book "Before the White Man Came"
Once upon a time a Blackfoot maiden fell in love with a wounded prisoner she was tending. The maiden realized that the tribe was only nursing him in order to torture him later. She planned an escape for her love and accompanied him for fear of punishment for her part in the escape.
After some time in her lover's camp she grew homesick for a glimpse of her old camp. She finally went to the camp and hid in the bushes where she over heard two young braves discussing what would happen to the maiden that betrayed her tribe, if only they could find her.
Longing to return, but knowing she never could she took a piece of bark, gashed her leg with a stick, and drew on the bark a map of the camp in her own blood.
After drawing the picture the maiden tossed the stick away and returned to her lover.
Where the stick landed a little plant grew with a brush like head end, dyed with the blood of the girl, which became the first Indian Paintbrush.
A bit cheerier legend goes like this -
Native American legend says a young brave once tried to paint the sunset with his warpaints. Frustrated he could not match the brilliance of nature, he asked guidance from the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit granted him paintbrushes laden with the colours he had wished for! With these, he painted his masterpiece, leaving the spent brushes in the fields across the landscape. The brushes sprouted in the first Indian Paintbrushes!