Bracted Lousewort
Pedicularis bracteosa Benth.
Family: Scrophulariaceae, Figwort
Genus: Pedicularis
Synonyms:
Other names: fernleaf, wood betony
Nomenclature: bracteosa = with conspicuous bracts
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
Toxic plant
No medicinal data
Description

General: erect, stout perennial up to about 100 cm tall, coarsely fibrous-rooted, or often some of the roots with tuberous thickenings. Herbage hairless below the flowers, stems leafy, unbranched.

Leaves: alternate, short-stalked or stalkless, 6-30 cm long, pinnatifid, the principal segments separate leaflets or very nearly so, linear-oblong to lanceolate, 1-7 cm long, doubly toothed, the uppermost leaf segments smaller and joined. Basal leaves similar to the stem leaves, but more stalked, or reduced or absent.

Flowers: many in dense, spike-like clusters, 6-30 cm tall. Calyx lobes 5, the upper one much the shortest, the others further partly joined into 2 side segments. Corolla pale yellow, often tinged with pink or purple, 13-21 mm long, the upper lip beakless or nearly so, about as long as the tube. June-August.

Fruits: capsules, curved and flattened.


Distribution

Woods, meadows, and moist open slopes in the mountains in w., c. and se. parts of MT. Also in B.C. and Alberta to n. CA and CO.
var. canbyi:
Toxic Properties

Louseworts can be eaten in small quantities in an emergency, but contain enough poisonous glycosides to cause severe illness if they are eaten in quantity.



Sub taxa:

var. bracteosa Benth.:
Free tips of the lateral sepals very slender and elongate, almost thread-like, evidently glandular. Corolla purple to partly or sometimes wholly yellow. Sepal tips mostly without evident glandless hairs, the glands mostly pale. In B.C. and Alberta to n.w. MT, n. ID, and n.e. WA.

var. canbyi (Gray) Cronq.:
Free tips of the sepals somewhat wider (linear to lanceolate or triangular) and often shorter, only very finely, or not at all, glandular. Corolla yellow or yellowish. Galea slightly beaked. Flower cluster evidently long-hairy. In w.c. and n.w. MT, and n. ID.

var. paysoniana (Pennell) Cronq.:
Free tips of the sepals somewhat wider (linear to lanceolate or triangular) and often shorter, only very finely, or not at all, glandular. Corolla yellow or yellowish. Galea beakless. Flower cluster evidently hairy. Free tips of the lateral sepals commonly at least twice as long as the joined portion. Galea strongly raised above the lower lip. Roots generally not tuberous-thickened. In CO, UT, WY, and e. ID, extending occasionally into s.w. MT.

var. siifolia (Rydb.) Cronq.:
Free tips of the sepals somewhat wider (linear to lanceolate or triangular) and often shorter, only very finely, or not at all, glandular. Corolla yellow or yellowish. Galea slightly beaked. Flower cluster hairless or nearly so. In s.w. MT, n.c. ID and extreme s.e. WA.

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