From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pedicularis bracteosa
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Orobanchaceae
Tribe: Pedicularideae
Genus: Pedicularis

500+, see text

Pedicularis is a genus of perennial green root parasite plants currently placed in the family Orobanchaceae (the genus previously having been placed in Scrophulariaceae sensu lato[1]).

Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum (Moor-king Lousewort)
Pedicularis semibarbata ssp charlestonensis (pinewoods lousewort)
Pedicularis zeylanica


Between 350 and 600 species are accepted by different authorities, mostly from the wetter northern temperate zones, as well as from South America. The highest diversity is in eastern Asia, with 352 species accepted in China alone.[2][3]


The common name lousewort, applied to several species, derives from an old belief that these plants, when ingested, were responsible for lice infestations in livestock.[4][5] The genus name Pedicularis is from the Latin pediculus meaning louse.[6]

Selected species[edit]


Bombus polaris has an essential role in the pollination of the large zygomorphic flowers of Pedicularis.[8] B. polaris has a special adaption that allows it to work the spikes of Pedicularis from the bottom towards the top.[8]


  1. ^ IPNI (Pedicularis assigned to Scrophulariaceae)
  2. ^ Species accepted by the Flora of China (not detailed here; see external links for details).
  3. ^ O'Neill, A. R.; Rana, S. K. (2019). "An ethnobotanical analysis of parasitic plants (Parijibi) in the Nepal Himalaya". Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 12 (14): 14. doi:10.1186/s13002-016-0086-y. PMC 4765049. PMID 26912113.
  4. ^ Jepson Manual Treatment: Pedicularis
  5. ^ "Online Virtual Flora of Wisconsin - Pedicularis canadensis". Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  6. ^ Horn, compiled and edited by Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart ; technical editor, Thomas E. Hemmerly ; photo editors, David Duhl and Dennis (2005). Wildflowers of Tennessee, the Ohio Valley, and the Southern Appalachians: the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society. [Edmonton]: Lone Pine Pub. p. 288. ISBN 978-1-55105-428-5. {{cite book}}: |first1= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ The Status of Rare, Threatened, and Endangered Animals and Plants of California (PDF), California Department of Fish and Game, Rare Plant Program, 2000, p. 181, retrieved 2007-11-16
  8. ^ a b Kevan, Peter G. (1972-11-01). "Insect Pollination of High Arctic Flowers". Journal of Ecology. 60 (3): 831–847. doi:10.2307/2258569. JSTOR 2258569.