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

Pedicularis capitata M.F. Adams
capitate lousewort
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #7476)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Pedicularis capitata
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a slender branched rhizome; stems single, erect, 5-15 cm tall, unbranched, usually short-hairy or long-hairy in the inflorescence.
Basal leaves long-stalked, once pinnately compound, oblong to oblong-elliptic, 3-7 cm long, the leaflets pinnately cleft or dissected and toothed, hairy to smooth; stem leaves lacking or 1 or 2 below the inflorescence, alternate, reduced.
Inflorescence a dense, head-like, bracted, terminal spike of 1 to 8 flowers, the bracts hairy, similar to the leaves but reduced, unstalked and less divided; corollas cream or yellowish-white, often tinged with pink or purple at the tip, 25-40 mm long, 2-lipped, the upper lip 15-25 mm long, strongly arched, hood-like, beakless but usually with a pair of teeth near the tip, the lower lip 3-lobed, to 15 mm long; calyces 9-16 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes rather broad, 4-10 mm long, often blunt-toothed near the tip; stamens 4, the filaments smooth.
Capsules, 12-15 mm long; seeds several. vol5_5

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist rocky or grassy slopes, meadows, heath and tundra in the subalpine to alpine zones; frequent in BC north of 54degreeN; amphiberingian, N to AK, YT and NT and E to AB, disjunct to PQ; Greenland, Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Pedicularis capitata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 14 1639 2430
Slope Gradient (%) 0 20 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 230 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(1), BAFA(112), BWBS(1), ESSF(17), IMA(1), SWB(13)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Pedicularis nelsonii R. Br.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References