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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Pedicularis groenlandica Retz.
Synonym(s): Elephantella groenlandica, Pedicularis groenlandica ssp. surrecta, Pedicularis groenlandica var. surrecta
USDA Symbol: PEGR2
Shortly after snow melt, purplish, fern-like leaves come up through the grasses and sedges on whose roots this plant is parasitic. A little later, spikes to 18 in. carry showy clusters of pink-purple flowers. The individual flowers resemble an elephant’s face – the upper petals twisted and curled into a long snout. Dense racemes of flowers that are perfect little pink elephant heads (ears, trunk, and all) bloom on leafy stems.
The flower’s charming structure facilitates pollination while at the same time reducing the chances of hybridization with other species. Little Elephant Heads (P. attollens), only to 16 (40 cm) tall, has a corolla marked with white and rose, and head proportions are not so perfectly elephantine - the trunk, raised as if trumpeting, is only as long as the lower lip. It grows from the Cascade Mountains of Oregon to the Sierra Nevada in California.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
, WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Canada & AK,
s. in U.S. through mts. to NM, AZ
& CA Native Habitat:
Cool, moist, mt. meadows; 6000-11,000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, especially early, soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Sow seeds near host plants in fall.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Seeds require a damp stratification of 40 degrees for 2-3 months.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
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
Record Last Modified: 2009-11-23
Research By: TWC Staff