Genus Pedicularis
Figwort Family (Scrophulariaceae)

Pedicularis groenlandica

These intriguing little plants grow in moist places such as streamsides and boggy meadows, so they are not easy to find unless you are willing to get your feet wet. They grow a little over a foot tall. Each plant has a spike of tiny flowers, and each flower looks like a little elephant's head -- complete with a trunk and two ears. The leaves look like fern fronds.

The plants in this genus (Pedicularis) are called Louseworts because it was once believed that animals eating them would become infested with lice. The name is taken from the scientific name for lice (Pediculus).

Albion Basin
Wasatch Mountains
Salt Lake County, Utah


by Sandra Bray