This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Herbs, with alternate opposite or rarely verticillate, pinnately lobed cleft or pinnatifid leaves, and yellow red purple or white flowers, in terminal spikes or spike-like racemes. Calyx tubular, cleft on the lower side or sometimes also on the upper, or 2-5-toothed. Corolla strongly 2-lipped, the tube cylindric, the upper lip (galea) laterally compressed, concave or conduplicate, sometimes short-beaked; lower lip erect or ascending, 3- lobed, the lobes spread-ng or reflexed, the middle one the smallest. Stamens 4, didynamous, ascending within the upper lip of the corolla; anthers approximate in pairs, their sacs transverse, equal, parallel, obtuse or rarely mucronate at the base. Capsule compressed, oblique or curved, beaked, many-seeded, loculicidally dehiscent. Seeds reticulate, pitted, striate or ribbed. [Latin, pertaining to lice, long supposed to breed lice in sheep that feed on these plants.]
About 125 species, mostly natives of the northern hemisphere. In addition to the following, some 30 others inhabit the western parts of North America. Mostly known as Lousewort; a few red-flowered species are called Red Rattle. Type species: Pedicularis sylvatica L.
Beak of the galea conic, decurved, 1" long.
1. P. lapponica.
Beak of the galea very short, or none.
Annuals or biennials; stems leafy, freely branching; northern. Puberulent; upper leaves crenulate, lower pinnatifid.
2. P. euphrasioides.
Glabrous or very nearly so; leaves all pinnatifid.
3. P. palustris.
Perennials; stems leafy, simple (rarely branched in No. 6).
Corolla yellow, or the galea red; plants 6'-3° high; eastern species.
Leaves pinnately lobed; capsule ovate, scarcely longer than the calyx.
4. P. lanceolata.
Leaves pinnately parted; capsule lanceolate, 3 times as long as the calyx.
5. P. canadensis.
Lower leaves pinnately divided; capsule ovate.
6. P. Furbishiae.
Galea crimson or purple; plant 1' - 4' high; arctic.
7. P. flammea.
Perennial; stem scapose, or 1-leaved; flowers capitate; arctic.
Pedicularis lapponica L. Sp. Pl. 609. 1753.
Perennial, puberulent; stems simple, or sparingly branched, leafy, 4'-8' high. Leaves sessile, or very short-petioled, alternate or the lowest opposite, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, obtuse or acutish at the apex, 1/2'-1 1/2' long, pinnately incised into numerous approximate oblong serrulate lobes; spike short, the flowers almost capitate, light yellow, 6"-7" long; calyx cleft on the lower side, 2-toothed on the upper; galea erect, arched, tipped by an abruptly spreading or recurved conic beak about 1" long.
In open places, Labrador and Greenland to the Arctic Sea. Also in Arctic Europe and Asia. Summer.
Pedicularis pedicellata Bunge, an Alaskan species is recorded by Bunge from Labrador. It is distinguished from the above by its scapose stem, deeply pinnatifid leaves and pedicellate lower flowers. We have not seen specimens from the eastern side of the continent.