Pedicularis verticillata whorled lousewort

Alaska Wildflowers | Pink | Purple

Pedicularis verticillata whorled lousewort

Pedicularis verticillata whorled lousewort

Common Names

pédiculaire verticillée
whorled lousewort

Synonyms

Pediculariopsis verticillata

Subspecies

none

Genus: Pedicularis
Family: Orobanchaceae
Order: Lamiales
taxonomic heirarchy

Etymology

Scientific Name

The genus name Pedicularis derives from the Latin word “pediculus,” meaning “louse.” This name refers to an old belief that livestock grazing on these plants would become infested with lice. This association with parasites is a characteristic shared by many species within the genus.

The species epithet verticillata comes from the Latin word “verticillus,” meaning “whorl.” This refers to the distinctive arrangement of the plant’s flowers and leaves in whorls around the stem, a key identifying feature of this species.



Common Name

Whorled lousewort is a common name that reflects the genus and the distinctive whorled arrangement of the plant’s flowers and leaves.

Duration – Growth Habit

Perennial – Forb/herb

Identification and Information

Pedicularis verticillata is a perennial herb with pink or purple flowers that typically grows 5-25 cm tall but can reach up to 40 cm. The plant grows from a taproot and has a branching stem base. The stems are sparsely hairy. It features 5-25 pinnatifid basal leaves (divided but not down to the midrib), is lanceolate in shape, and has dentate margins. This species is distinguished from similar louseworts by having one or two whorls of three to five cauline (stem) leaves below the inflorescence. These cauline leaves are also pinnatifid, smaller than the basal leaves, and lack petioles.

The inflorescence is a verticillate raceme arranged in layered whorls around the flowering stem. It initially compact and elongates over time, containing 10-40 flowers. The whorls contain bracts similar to the leaves but much smaller upward. The flowers are bilaterally symmetric, rose pink to purplish, often with darker veins. The calyx (sepals) is fused, forming a tube, and divided into five lobes enclosing the base of the corolla. It is green with a purplish tinge and hairy. The corolla tube is formed by two petals. The upper hood, or galea, is 5-8 mm long, smooth, and arches over the lower lip, creating a protective cover for the flower’s reproductive parts. The lower lip is 3-lobed and slightly longer than the hood, with each lobe often spreading outward. The fruit is a cylindrical and elongated dry capsule, 10-15 mm long, that splits open when mature to release the seeds.


Affiliate link – I earn a commission if you shop through the link(s) below at no additional cost to you (more info)

Uses

For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.

No traditional, medicinal, or culinary uses were found.


Affiliate link – I earn a commission if you shop through the link(s) below at no additional cost to you (more info)
Unlimited Photo Storage

Distribution and Habitat

Map data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), NatureServe Explorer, and Kew

Pedicularis verticillata is found across northern and central Asia, most of central Europe, Alaska, and western Canada.

Its habitat includes arctic meadows, muskegs, alpine tundra, floodplains, and rocky slopes.

Distribution and Diversity

There are many species of Pedicularis in Alaska, with a wide range of morphological diversity. While many species share common habitats, Pedicularis verticillata can be distinguished by its whorled floral arrangement and specific habitat preferences. This species is particularly noted in moist alpine meadows and tundra.

Classification

RankScientific Name (Common Name)
KingdomPlantae (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)
SubkingdomViridiplantae (green plants)
InfrakingdomStreptophyta (land plants)
SuperdivisionEmbryophyta 
DivisionTracheophyta (vascular plants, tracheophytes)
SubdivisionSpermatophytina (spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)
ClassMagnoliopsida 
SuperorderAsteranae 
OrderLamiales 
FamilyOrobanchaceae (broomrape)
GenusPedicularis L. (lousewort)
SpeciesPedicularis verticillata L. (whorled lousewort)

Affiliate link – I earn a commission if you shop through the link(s) below at no additional cost to you (more info)

References and Further Reading

Guidebook

Pratt, V. E. (1989). Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers: Commonly Seen Along Highways and Byways (p. 23). Alaskakrafts, inc.

Classification and Taxonomy

Canadensys. (2024). Pedicularis verticillata. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://data.canadensys.net/vascan/name/Pedicularis%20verticillata

ITIS. (2024). Pedicularis verticillata. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=33358#null

USDA NRCS. (2024). Pedicularis verticillata. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=PEVE

Uses

none

Map and Distribution

GBIF. (2024). Pedicularis verticillata. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://www.gbif.org/species/3171697

NatureServe Explorer. (2024). Pedicularis verticillata. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.136183/Pedicularis_verticillata

Plants of the World Online. (2024). Pedicularis verticillata. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:186480-2

Description and Information

Flora of North America. (2024). Pedicularis verticillata. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from http://floranorthamerica.org/Pedicularis_verticillata

Hultén, E. (1968). Flora of Alaska and Neighboring Territories: A Manual of the Vascular Plants (1st ed.) (pg. 817). Stanford University Press.

Ecological Atlas of Denali’s Flora. (2024). Pedicularis verticillata. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://ecologicalatlas.uaf.edu/index.php/browse-plant-species/atlas-page/?nps_id=1379

E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia. (2024). Pedicularis verticillata. Retrieved June 25, 2024, from https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Pedicularis%20verticillata&redblue=Both&lifeform=7

Support This Site

Consider becoming a member to access exclusive perks and support the sustainability of this valuable resource. Already a member? Log in here!

Level

Free

Trailblazer Monthly

Explorer Monthly

Patron Monthly

Price

Free.

$3.00 per Month.

$6.00 per Month.

$10.00 per Month.

Description

golden sunlight diffuses through the dense stand of snow-laden spruce trees, casting long shadows and bathing the forest in a warm, hazy light.

  Select Select Select Select
Occasional Newsletter Yes Yes Yes Yes
Free Articles Yes Yes Yes Yes
Exclusive Content* No Yes Yes Yes
Ad-free browsing** No No Yes Yes
Discounts on Prints No No Yes Yes
Priority Responses For Questions No No No Yes
Advanced Notice On New Content No No No Yes
More In-depth Content No No No Yes
  Select Select Select Select

Free

golden sunlight diffuses through the dense stand of snow-laden spruce trees, casting long shadows and bathing the forest in a warm, hazy light.

  • Occasional Newsletter
  • Free Articles
Select

Free.

Trailblazer Monthly

  • Occasional Newsletter
  • Free Articles
  • Exclusive Content*
Select

$3.00 per Month.

Explorer Monthly

  • Occasional Newsletter
  • Free Articles
  • Exclusive Content*
  • Ad-free browsing**
  • Discounts on Prints
Select

$6.00 per Month.

Patron Monthly

  • Occasional Newsletter
  • Free Articles
  • Exclusive Content*
  • Ad-free browsing**
  • Discounts on Prints
  • Priority Responses For Questions
  • Advanced Notice On New Content
  • More In-depth Content
Select

$10.00 per Month.

* I don’t plan on hiding much content behind a paywall because I believe it should be open and accessible to all. However, maintaining this website involves a significant investment of both time and money. I spend countless hours building and writing these pages and articles and incur thousands of dollars annually to keep the site running.

Your support through membership helps cover these expenses and allows me to continue providing high-quality content. Membership allows you to access exclusive perks and content and contribute to this valuable resource's sustainability. Thank you for your support!

** Ads and affiliate links will still be shown on relevant content, like in gear reviews.

   

Add a comment

*Please complete all fields correctly

Related Posts

A close-up of Pedicularis langsdorffii, commonly known as Langsdorff's lousewort or Arctic fernweed. The plant features a dense, terminal spike of pink to lavender flowers, each flower exhibiting a two-lipped (bilabiate) structure. The upper lip (galea) is strongly arched and hood-like, with a pair of slender teeth near the tip, while the lower lip has three rounded lobes and is slightly paler. The inflorescence is mixed with leaf-like bracts, which are deeply pinnately divided, with serrate margins. The flowers and bracts are attached to an erect, somewhat long-woolly stem. The background is a blurred mix of green foliage, emphasizing the intricate details and vibrant colors of the Pedicularis langsdorffii flowers.
A single stem of Orthilia secunda, commonly known as one-sided wintergreen or sidebells wintergreen, is shown in a forested setting. The plant features a raceme of small, nodding, greenish-white flowers arranged along the upper side of the stem. The basal leaves are broad, dark green, and slightly serrated, with a few additional leaves visible on the lower part of the stem. The surrounding environment includes moss and fallen leaves, with a nearby plant exhibiting rounder, glossy green leaves. Orthilia secunda thrives in this shaded, moist forest habitat.
A single stem of Pyrola chlorantha, commonly known as green-flowered wintergreen, stands upright in a forested area. The plant features small, nodding, greenish-white flowers arranged along the upper part of the stem, with each flower delicately hanging down. The basal leaves are rounded and dark green, clustered at the base of the stem. The background is a forest floor covered in moss and fallen pine needles, indicating a moist, shaded habitat typical for this species. Pyrola chlorantha is known for its circumboreal distribution, inhabiting coniferous and deciduous forests across Alaska, Canada, and northern regions of the United States, Europe, and Asia.