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Pedicularis procera

Pedicularis procera

Pedicularis procera
Pedicularis procera (Giant Lousewort)
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands, openings. Summer.
Above: Taylor Mesa Road, July 24, 2015.
Left: El Diente Trail, August 10, 2011.

Pedicularis procera
Pedicularis procera (Giant Lousewort)
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands, openings. Summer.
El Diente Trail, August 3, 2009.

Pedicularis procera
Pedicularis procera (Giant Lousewort)
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands, openings. Summer.
El Diente Trail, August 3, 2009.

Pedicularis procera (Giant Lousewort)
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands, openings. Summer.
Aspen woods near Echo Basin, June 10, 2008.

These four inch tall, just days old leaves, might be taken for a fern or even a fungus.  They are, though, Pedicularis leaves -- but which Pedicularis?  The answer is in the lower left and lower right of the photograph.  These buff-colored dried flower stalks from last year are over three feet tall -- just the right height for Pedicularis procera.

Pedicularis procera

Pedicularis procera (Giant Lousewort)
Orobanchaceae (Broomrape Family)

Montane, subalpine. Woodlands, openings. Summer.
Priest Gulch/Calico Connecting Trail, September 11, 2018 and
Little Taylor Creek Trail, August 20, 2007.

As the photographs at the top of this page show, Pedicularis procera flower stems elongate after the first flowers are already open at the bottom of the stem. New flowers continue to open as the flowering stem elongates.

Seeds then, of course, mature first at the lower end of the flower stem. See the dark, almost triangular seed pods at the bottom of the photo at left. By the time the bottom seed pods have this color and shape, the flowering season will be at an end, but there may be a few flowers, or at least some dried floral parts, at the very top of the plant.