Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

Pedicularis racemosa

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OrobanchaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub; often glandular; root-parasites, roots modified into absorptive structures. Stem: generally round in ×-section. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, reduced to +- fleshy scales in non-green plants lacking chlorophyll; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1--2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; calyx lobes 0--5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed), abaxial lobes outside other lobes in bud; stamens epipetalous, 4 in 2 pairs (sometimes 1 pair sterile), additional staminode 0(1), anther sacs unequal; ovary superior, chambers 1--2, placentas 2--4, parietal, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: capsule, generally +- ovoid, loculicidal, valves 2--4. Seed: many, small, angled; surface smooth or netted.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 2060 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate and Africa. Note: High yield losses in many crops caused by Orobanche and Phelipanche species in Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East, and eastern Europe. Taxa of Orobanche in TJM2 treated here in Aphyllon and Phelipanche.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert W. Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: PedicularisView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: LOUSEWORT
Habit: Perennial herb, +- green. Stem: decumbent to erect, generally 1--several from generally short caudex. Leaf: alternate, generally +- basal, generally < inflorescence, toothed or generally > 7-lobed, generally reduced distally on stem; petiole generally < blade. Inflorescence: raceme, spike-like; bracts (at least proximal) generally +- like distal leaves; pedicels 1--6 mm. Flower: calyx lobes (2,4)5, distal-most generally shortest (all generally < tube), lateral fused in pairs; corolla white or yellow or pink to red or purple, upper lip hood- or beak-like, curved or not, lower lip 3-lobed, narrow to fan-shaped, central lobe generally smallest; fertile stamens 4, generally glabrous, anthers generally included, sacs 2 per stamen, equal; stigma head-like, generally exserted. Fruit: generally +- ovate or lanceolate in outline, asymmetric, opening mostly on upper side. Seed: smooth or netted.
Etymology: (Latin: lice, from belief that ingestion by stock promoted lice infestation)
eFlora Treatment Author: Linda Ann Vorobik & David J. Keil
Reference: Ree 2005 Int J Pl Sci 166:595--613
Pedicularis racemosa Douglas ex Benth.
Stem: few to many, +- decumbent, generally branched distally, 12--80 cm, subglabrous. Leaf: cauline, 2--10 cm, +- narrowly lanceolate, serrate to dentate. Inflorescence: 1--5 cm; proximal bracts >= flowers. Flower: calyx 4.5--8 mm, glabrous, lobes generally 2 (4 in some plants); corolla 10--16 mm, +- white, +- yellow, or +- purple, glabrous, upper lip 5--7.5 mm, extended in a long, down-curved beak, lower lip 5--9 mm, fan-like; anthers 1.5--2.5 mm, base acute. Fruit: 10--16 mm, +- lanceolate in outline. Seed: 1.5--3 mm, smooth.
Ecology: Open conifer forest; Elevation: 900--2300 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, CaR, n SNH, SNE; Distribution Outside California: to western Canada, Wyoming, New Mexico. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: If recognized taxonomically, plants with linear leaves, +- white to +- yellow corollas assignable to Pedicularis racemosa subsp. alba Pennell; further investigation needed.
Jepson eFlora Author: Linda Ann Vorobik & David J. Keil
Reference: Ree 2005 Int J Pl Sci 166:595--613
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Pedicularis howellii
Next taxon: Pedicularis rigginsiae

Name Search

Botanical illustration including Pedicularis racemosa

botanical illustration including Pedicularis racemosa

Please use this Google Form for Contact/Feedback

Citation for this treatment: Linda Ann Vorobik & David J. Keil 2023, Pedicularis racemosa, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 12,, accessed on June 23, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 23, 2024.

Pedicularis racemosa
click for enlargement
©2010 Keir Morse
Pedicularis racemosa
click for enlargement
©2010 Keir Morse
Pedicularis racemosa
click for enlargement
©2010 Keir Morse
Pedicularis racemosa
click for enlargement
©2014 Steve Matson
Pedicularis racemosa  
var. alba
click for enlargement
©2015 Barry Breckling

More photos of Pedicularis racemosa
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Pedicularis racemosa:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).