Page author: David Giblin
Pedicularis racemosa
leafy lousewort, sickletop lousewort

Distribution: Widely distributed across Washington; British Columbia south to California, east to Montana, Colorado and New Mexico.

Habitat: Coniferous forests at mid-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous, fibrous-rooted perennial from a woody base, the stems clustered, 1.5-5 dm. tall.


Leaves alternate, the lowermost much reduced, the others well-distributed along the stems, sub-sessile, lanceolate to linear-oblong, 4-10 cm. long and 5-15 mm. wide, doubly serrate, the secondary teeth inconspicuous.


Inflorescence a lax, elongate raceme, the lower flowers often in the leaf axils, the middle and upper bracts progressively smaller and less leaf-like; calyx deeply cleft below into 2 oblique, broad-based segments, each with an acuminate tip; corolla purplish-pink to white, 1-1.5 cm. long, bilabiate, the hooded upper lip strongly arched and tapering into a slender, down-curved beak which often touches the prominent, shallowly3-lobed lower lip; stigma capitate.


Capsule glabrous, flattened, curved.

Identification Notes:

Pedicularis racemosa is the only species in our area that does not have pinnate or pinnatifid leaves.

Accepted Name:
Pedicularis racemosa Douglas ex Benth.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. alba – sickletop lousewort
var. racemosa – sickletop lousewort
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Pedicularis racemosa checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Pedicularis racemosa atlas page.

CalPhotos: Pedicularis racemosa photos.

USDA Plants: Pedicularis racemosa information.

36 photographs:
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