A collection of flora from the pacific wonderland.

Birdsbeak Lousewort (Pedicularis ornithorhyncha)

Park Creek Pass, North Cascades N.P., WA, 8/2012.

The petals’ resemblance to a bird’s beak which gives this flower its Latin and common name is easily seen in this close-up.  The plant (like its relatives, Elephant Head and Indian Paintbrush, in the figwort/lousewort family) is said to be semi-parasitic, meaning that it pulls some of its nutrients, including chlorophyll, from the roots of neighboring plants.  Unlike Elephant Head, this lousewort prefers dry alpine meadows. This species is not found south of Mt. Rainer, preferring the rugged habitats northward to Alaska.

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