Pedicularis groenlandica is a showy flowering plant in the broomrape family which is known by the common names elephant’s head and elephanthead lousewort. This erect plant can grow to a height of 80 centimeters. Its sharply-toothed fernlike leaves are located low on the stout stem. The stem is topped with a large inflorescence of bright pink to purple or white flowers. Each flower has a long, pointed beak which curves upward, superficially resembling the trunk of an elephant, and the lateral lobes of the flower resemble an elephant’s ears. Like other louseworts and related broomrape genera, this is a root parasite which obtains nutrients from the roots of other plants by piercing them with haustoria. This plant is found in the high mountain ranges of western North America, particularly the Cascades and High Sierra, much of Canada and Greenland. It grows in wet environments such as riverbanks.
Flower Family: Figwort
Scientific Name: Pedicularis groenlandica
Usual Color: Blue-purple