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

Orthocarpus bracteosus Benth.
rosy owl-clover (rosy owl's-clover)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #5885)

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Distribution of Orthocarpus bracteosus
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Species Information

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Annual herb; stems erect, 10-40 cm tall, slender, simple or branched above, short-hairy, usually purple-tinged.
Alternate, unstalked, linear to lanceolate, 1.5-3.5 cm long, green, short-spreading-hairy and often also glandular-hairy, entire below, 3-cleft above, the upper leaves passing into the wider, 3-lobed bracts of the inflorescence.
Inflorescence a dense, ultimately elongate, prominently bracted, densely hairy and glandular-hairy, terminal spike 3-15 cm long, the bracts uniformly green or the upper purple-tinged, glandular-soft-hairy, 10-20 mm long, differing gradually from the leaves, more or less egg-shaped, divided two-thirds of the way down into 3 (5) triangular-lanceolate lobes; corollas rose-purple, hairy, 12-20 mm long, exserted from the bracts, tubular, 2-lipped, the upper lip beaked and hooked, scarcely exceeding the lower lip, the lower lip swollen, pouched, toothless; calyces tubular, 6-10 mm long, green, glandular-hairy, unequally 4-lobed; stamens 4.
Capsules, ellipsoid, 5-7 mm long; seeds 8 to 15, about 3 mm long, with tight-fitting, netted, ridged coats.
This species was formerly known from several locations in the Victoria area but has not been collected there since 1954.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic meadows and fields in the lowland zone; rare, known recently only from Trial Island; S to N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Orthocarpus bracteosus

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) 815 845 888
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 2
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
270 270 270
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 2 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: IDF(1), PP(3)


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 bracteosus var. albus D.D. Keck

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References