Lousewort - Pedicularis sylvatica

Scientific Name: Pedicularis sylvatica - 'sylvatica' = 'of the woods.'

English Name: Lousewort - any plant name with a 'wort' suffix indicates a plant that was considered useful medicinally. Presumably Lousewort was used to treat lice.

French Name: Le P├ędiculaire des bois or p├ędiculaire des forets - 'des bois' = 'of the woods'; 'des forets' = 'of the forests'.

5 Key Characters:
  • low growing (10 - 20 cm).
  • pink tubelike flowers.
  • calyx (the green 'cup' the flower sits in) 5 angled and rather fat.
  • upper lip of flower 2 toothed.
  • flower spikes short and with few flowers.
Lookalikes: Marsh Lousewort P. palustris, which is rarer and taller with more flowers.

Habitat: Damp heaths, grassland, avoids chalky soils.

Flowering Period: April-May-June-July.

Status: Fairly common.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Photographs numbered from left to right and top to bottom. 1 on a ride in the Parc de Boussay, April.

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