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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Pedicularis canadensis L.
Canadian lousewort, Wood betony
USDA Symbol: PECA
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
A hairy plant with tubular, 2-lipped flowers, all red, all yellow, or yellow and red in a short, dense, terminal cluster.
These low, semi-parasitic plants get some of their nourishment from the roots of other plants. The flower color and the finely cut foliage are distinctive. The genus name, from the Latin pediculus (a louse), and the common name Lousewort, refer to the misconception once held by farmers that cattle and sheep become infested with lice when grazing on the plants. Swamp Lousewort (P. lanceolata), with many opposite leaves on a stem 12-36 (30-90 cm) tall, has light yellow flowers and usually occurs in wet meadows with limestone soil. Furbishs Lousewort (P. furbishiae), is similar, but with finely cut alternate leaves; it is found on the banks of the St. John River in New Brunswick and in northern Maine, where it is classified as an endangered species.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
AL , AR , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: MB
, QC Native Distribution:
Manitoba to Quebec; south through c. Maine to Florida; west to Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas; north to Minnesota. Native Habitat:
Woods and clearings. USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Conditions Comments: These low, semi-parasitic plants get some of their nourishment from the roots of other plants. (Niering)
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
- Hinton, WV
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff