Page author: David Giblin
Pedicularis contorta
white coiled-beak lousewort

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to Montana and south to Wyoming.

Habitat: Open wooded slopes and drier meadows at high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous perennial from a stout woody base, the stems clustered, 1.5-6 dm. tall


Basal leaves 5-18 cm. long, the blade slightly longer than the petiole, pinnate, the leaflets narrow, well-spaced, serrate; cauline leaves few, similar, but much reduced upward.


Inflorescence an open, spike-like, elongate raceme, the bracts deeply trifid; calyx tube pale between the 5 darker veins; calyx lobes 5, narrow, entire, the upper one the shortest; corolla white to pale, creamy yellow, often finely marked with purple, about 1 cm. long, bilabiate, the upper lip hooded, strongly arched, tapered into a down-curved, beak curved to one side; the lower lip only slightly 3-lobed, nearly as long as the upper beak; stigma capitate.


Capsule glabrous, flattened, curved.

Accepted Name:
Pedicularis contorta Benth.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. contorta – white-coiled beak lousewort    British Columbia to California, east to Montana and south to Wyoming
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Pedicularis contorta in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Pedicularis contorta checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Pedicularis contorta atlas page.

CalPhotos: Pedicularis contorta photos.

USDA Plants: Pedicularis contorta information.

56 photographs:
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