Pedicularis canadensis L.

Pedicularis canadensis plant

Family - Scrophulariaceae

Stems - To +25cm tall, from thick roots, multiple from base, herbaceous, hollow, reddish, erect, villous.

Leaves - Alternate, petiolate, pinnatifid to bipinnatifid, ultimate divisions crenate. Blade to +7cm long, 2.5-3cm broad, oblong, typically glabrous but with appressed hairs on sunken midrib above. Petioles to +3cm long, with sparse cilia on margins. Larger leaves basal, upper leaves reduced.

Pedicularis canadensis leaves

Inflorescence - Terminal spicate raceme to +/-9cm long. Axis of raceme dense villous to lanate. Flowers sessile, each subtended by foliaceous bract.

Flowers - Corolla bilabiate, yellowish, to 2.5cm long. Upper lip galeate, 1.2cm long. Lower lip bearded internally, to 1cm long. Stamens 4, didynamous. Filaments flattened, 2.3cm long, pubescent at base and at apex. Anthers 3mm long, 1.5mm broad. Ovary 4mm long, superior, glabrous, flattened at apex. Calyx to +/-1.4cm total length, 8mm in diameter. Capsule to +1.5cm long, with minute beak.

Pedicularis canadensis flowers

Pedicularis canadensis flowers

Flowering - April - May.

Habitat - Dry open woods, ridges, slopes, prairies, low meadows.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - P. canadensis is a common plant in the state. The yellow flowers are easy to spot in meadows in the spring. Steyermark lists a white flowered form also, f. albescens Steyerm., but it is rare.
Natives used the roots of the plant in tea for a variety of ailments. Then again, they used most plants.

Photographs taken in the Mark Twain National Forest, Ripley County, MO., 4-15-01.


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