Pedicularis lanata Cham. & Schltdl.
Pedicularis kanei Durand
Pedicularis lanata ssp. lanata
Pedicularis kanei ssp. kanei
Pedicularis kanei ssp. yukonensis
Pedicularis lanata ssp.
For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.
The entire plant is edible. The roots are often eaten raw or cooked (typically boiled or roasted). The root tastes somewhat like a carrot. The Inupiat would also ferment the flower tops and greens and eat them with oil and sugar.
Identification and Information
Flower: Pink or pinkish purple to white, many-flowered inflorescence
Leaves: Reddish-brown to green narrow, long serrated leaves
Root: Thick, long, bright yellow taproot
Also known as the bumble-bee flower (Ipchuk by the Iñupiat), wooly lousewort is one of the early blooming wildflowers in Alaska, this pinkish flower is frequently seen in late May or early June in the Alaska interior, sometimes poking out of the snow. The woolly stem grows to be 5–25 cm (2–10 in) tall, from a starchy taproot. The wool helps to keep warm air around the young plant. It has a branching taproot, but no underground stem is present. The leaf blades are 12-50 mm long.
Woolly lousewort is usually seen with a single stem but can have up to three and occasionally more.
Woolly lousewort is similar to the arctic hairy lousewort, Pedicularis dasyantha.
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Distribution and Habitat
Pedicularis lanata is found throughout Alaska, but rare south of the Alaska Range. It is found throughout northern Canada including British Columbia, and Alberta, as well as Greenland.
Woolly lousewort can grow in wet muskeg to dry, rocky alpine meadows, flood plains, or sandy, silty soils.
|Rank||Scientific Name (Common Name)|
|Subkingdom||Tracheobionta (Vascular plants)|
|Superdivision||Spermatophyta (Seed plants)|
|Division||Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants)|
|Family||Scrophulariaceae (Figwort family)|
|Genus||Pedicularis L. (lousewort)|
|Species||Pedicularis lanata Cham. & Schltdl. (woolly lousewort)|
References and Further Reading
Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers, Pratt, Verna E. pg 23
Classification and Taxonomy
Pedicularis lanata Cham. & Schltdl. Taxonomic Serial No.: 33364, ITIS Database
Pedicularis lanata Cham. & Schltdl. woolly lousewort, USDA Database
Descriptions and Uses
Pedicularis lanata, Alaskawildflowers.us
Wildflowers, National Park Service: Bering Land Bridge
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The Iñupiaq name for the bumble bee flower has been lost, Alaskan-Natives.com
Pedicularis lanata Willd. ex Cham. and Schltdl., Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
We found one of these plants pre-bloom on the Elliot highway in mid-June at lower elevation at the edge of a burn.
Awesome! Do you happen to know the approximate elevation or location and date? I’d like to add more information about blooming times to these pages and the more information the better! I typically see them in full bloom by early June, but that’s usually at higher elevations, alpine tundra in full sun. Thanks for sharing Margie!