Pedicularis groenlandica Retz.
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)
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.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: AK , AZ , CA , CO , ID , MT , NM , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , ON , 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
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1993 VOL. 10, NO.3 - Miss Helen Hayes Memorial, Director's Report, Monarda Medicinal Mints of Distinc...
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Pedicularis groenlandica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Pedicularis groenlandica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Pedicularis groenlandica
MetadataRecord Modified: 2015-05-06
Research By: TWC Staff