Lousewort
(Canadian Lousewort - Eastern Lousewort - Wood Betony - Dobb's Lousewort)
Pedicularis canadensis var. Dobbsii
Scrophulariaceae (Figwort or Snapdragon) Family

Plant is an upright, hairy perennial. Preferred habitat is moist woods, prairies and roadsides. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are alternate on the stem; mostly at the base with a few on the stem; lance-like to widest at the middle. Lower leaves are stalked and upper leaves are not. Leaf margins are elongated with leaflets arising along both sides like a feather.

Flowers are at the end of stems in a spike-like raceme. Corolla has two lips, upper lip being in two parts and hood-like; lower lip is shorter. Corolla is creamy yellow or occasionally pink. Flowers occur in the spring.

Fruit is a capsule.

These low, semi-parasitic plants get some of their nourishment from the roots of other plants. The genus name means “louse” and the common name refers to the misconception held by farmers of old that cattle and sheep became infested with lice when grazing on the plant. While the plant is widespread in the southeast it is considered endangered in some northern states.

Previous Page

Return to Index

Next Page