E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Orthocarpus imbricatus Torr. ex S. Watson
mountain owl-clover (mountain owl's-clover)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14090)

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Distribution of Orthocarpus imbricatus
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Species Information

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Annual herb; stems ascending to erect, 10-35 cm tall, simple or branched above; smooth to thinly short-hairy.
Alternate, unstalked, linear to narrowly lanceolate, 1-5 cm long, entire, sparsely short-hairy to nearly smooth.
Inflorescence a dense, prominently bracted, terminal spike 2-8 cm long, the bracts 10-15 mm long, differing abruptly from the leaves, shorter and much broader, blunt-tipped, net-veined, showy and petal-like, at least the upper with pink-purple tips, some with a pair of lateral teeth below the middle; corollas rose-purple, minutely hairy, 10-13 mm long, largely hidden by the bracts, tubular, 2-lipped, the upper lip beak-like and hooked, surpassing the lower lip by about 1 mm, the lower lip broader, moderately pouched, yellowish, tipped with 3 tiny teeth; calyces tubular, 5-7 mm long, hairy but non-glandular, 2-cleft, each segment 2-lobed, the lobes shorter than the tube; stamens 4.
Capsules, ellipsoid, about 5 mm long; seeds 3 to 5, with tight-fitting netted coats.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to dry scree slopes and meadows in the subalpine zone; rare on S Vancouver Island, known only from Little Mount Hooper; S to N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References