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

Triphysaria pusilla (Benth.) T.I. Chuang & Heckard
dwarf owl-clover (dwarf owl's-clover)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jeremy Gatten  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #9187)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Triphysaria pusilla
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Species Information

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Annual herb, finely stiff-spreading-hairy throughout, usually maroon or purplish; stems decumbent, usually with ascending branches from the base, 5-20 cm tall, very slender; main axis obscure.
Alternate, unstalked, linear, 0.5-3 cm long, pinnately divided into 3 to 9 thread-like lobes.
Inflorescence a loose, ultimately elongate, prominently bracted, terminal spike 4-15 cm long, often extending to near the base of the stem, the bracts 5-12 mm long, resembling the leaves but more dissected, pinnately divided into 3 to 11 lobes; corollas red-purple, occasionally yellowish, inconspicuous, smooth or nearly so, 4-6 mm long, narrowly tubular not club-shaped, 2-lipped, the upper lip beaked and hooked, longer than the lower lip, the lower lip swollen, 3-pouched, inconspicuously 3-toothed; calyces tubular, 5-7 mm long, hairy, 4-lobed, becoming papery in fruit; stamens 4, slightly exserted.
Capsules, round, flattened, 4-6 mm long; seeds 20 to 30, about 1 mm long, with a tight-fitting, netted coat. vol5_6

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Vernally moist, open, grassy sites in the lowland zone; locally frequent on S Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, rare on the adjacent mainland; S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Triphysaria pusilla

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) 213 236 259
Slope Gradient (%) 0 32 55
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
60 170 240
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 3
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:


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

Orthocarpus pusillus Benth.
Orthocarpus pusillus var. densiuscuus (Gandog.) D.D. Keck

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References