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

Pedicularis groenlandica Retz.
elephant's-head lousewort (elephanthead lousewort)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #843)

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Distribution of Pedicularis groenlandica
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Species Information

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General:
Perennial herb from fibrous roots sometimes surmounted by a stem-base, smooth throughout except for the calyx-teeth; stems 1 to several, often clustered, erect, 15-70 cm tall, unbranched, sometimes reddish-purple.
Leaves:
Basal leaves long-stalked, oblong-lanceolate, 5-25 cm long, pinnately lobed to deeply cleft, the lobes narrow and toothed; stem leaves alternate, several, reduced and becoming unstalked upward.
Flowers:
Inflorescence a fairly dense, elongated, bracted, terminal spike of numerous flowers, the spike smooth, 4-20 cm long, the bracts similar to the leaves but much reduced, shorter than the flowers; corollas pink to reddish-purple, 10-25 mm long including the beak, 2-lipped, the upper lip short (2-3 mm), strongly hooded, prolonged into an elongate, upcurved beak (resembling an elephant trunk) 7-18 mm long, the lower lip 3-8 mm long, 3-lobed, the lobes deflexed-spreading; calyces 4-7 mm long, 5-toothed, the teeth broadly triangular, more or less equal, about 1 mm long, fringed with hairs; stamens 4, the filaments smooth.
Fruits:
Capsules, asymmetrical, 7-14 mm long; seeds several, about 3 mm long, winged, net-veined.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Purple
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Spring to Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet meadows, thickets, swamps, seepage sites and streambanks in the montane to subalpine zones; locally frequent in and E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains in S BC, infrequent northward E of the Coast Mountains; N to S AK, YT and NT; E to PQ and S to NM, AZ and CA; Greenland.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Ecology

Ecological Framework for Pedicularis groenlandica

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

Minimum

Average

Maximum

Elevation (metres) 6 1540 2322
Slope Gradient (%) 0 9 80
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 286 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Class
C
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
86
Modal BEC Zone Class
ESSF
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(3), BAFA(3), BWBS(7), CMA(2), ESSF(44), IDF(1), MH(1), MS(3), SBS(4), SWB(2)

Climate

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 alpine tundra & boreal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Elephantella groenlandica (Retz.) Rydb.
Pedicularis groenlandica subsp. surrecta (Benth.) Piper
Pedicularis groenlandica var. surrecta (Benth.) A. Gray

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

Related Databases

General References