Nature also often experiments with color. Indian paintbrush will occasionally have yellow or orange bracts. The species has a reputation for sparse and occasional appearances. But on limestone plains in northern Michigan, it can form large colonies. The plants can survive without being married to a partner. But such plants are smaller, less vigorous, and 40 times less likely to produce viable seed. That variation in size is readily observed in the northern colonies. Plants may be only a few inches tall, or up to about 15 inches. Paintbrush is a favorite of hummingbirds.