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Orthocarpus luteus (Yellow owl's-clover)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Orthocarpus luteus

Orthocarpus luteus Nutt.

Yellow Owl's-clover

Scrophulariaceae (Figwort Family)


USDA Symbol: ORLU2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Many golden-yellow flowers, angled upward, protruding from glandular-hairy bracts near top of this erect plant.

There are about 25 species of Owl's Clover, all but one in western North America, several with yellow corollas, and some with a 3-lobed pouch. The name Owl's Clover may refer to the eye-like spots on the petals of some species or, picturesquely, to the swollen head-like ends of the erect corollas that seem to peer from the bracts as owls peer from the leaves of a tree.


From the Image Gallery

12 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.
Leaf: Green

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AZ , CA , CO , ID , MN , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OR , SD , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC , SK
Native Distribution: British Columbia to southeastern California, mostly east of the Cascade Mountains and the Sierra Nevada; east to New Mexico, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Manitoba.
Native Habitat: Plains and open woods.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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.

Web Reference

Webref 62 - Burke Herbarium Image Collection (2020) University of Washington
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Orthocarpus luteus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Orthocarpus luteus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Orthocarpus luteus


Record Modified: 2023-05-18
Research By: TWC Staff

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