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

Pedicularis ornithorhyncha Benth.
bird's-beak lousewort (ducksbill lousewort)
Orobanchaceae (Broom-rape family)
(Previously in Scrophulariaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© krista kaptein  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #38502)

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Distribution of Pedicularis ornithorhyncha
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from fibrous-rooted stem-base; stems 1 to several, often clustered, erect, 5-30 cm tall, unbranched, smooth except long-hairy in the inflorescence.
Basal leaves long-stalked, lanceolate to oblong-elliptic, 3-12 cm long, pinnately compound to lobed, the divisions deeply cleft and often also toothed; stem leaves alternate, few and reduced, or lacking.
Inflorescence a fairly dense, head-like to somewhat elongate, bracted, terminal spike of few to several flowers, the bracts somewhat cleft or dissected, much smaller than the leaves; corollas purple, 10-17 mm long including the beak, 2-lipped, the upper lip 6-8 mm long, strongly hooded, prolonged into a straight, conical beak 2-4 mm long, the lower lip 3-lobed, the lobes deflexed-spreading; calyces long-hairy, 7-10 mm long, 5-toothed, the teeth lanceolate, more or less equal, 1.5-3 mm long; stamens 4, the filaments long-soft-hairy.
Capsules, asymmetrical, 10-15 mm long; seeds several.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to moist meadows, heath, tundra, streambanks and open rocky slopes in the subalpine and alpine zones; frequent in and W of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, infrequent in C and rare in SC BC; N to S AK and S to W WA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Pedicularis ornithorhyncha

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) 180 1501 2435
Slope Gradient (%) 0 23 70
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
12 214 358
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 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(11), BAFA(8), CMA(21), CWH(3), ESSF(10), MH(24)


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

Pedicularis pedicellata Bunge
Pedicularis subnuda Benth.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References