Warrior’s Plume (Pedicularis densiflora)
When we think of Pedicularis, we think of alpine plants like Elephant head and the various Louseworts we find in the moist meadows of Mt Rainier and the high Cascades. So we were surprised to find a previously unseen variety of the family on a list of southern Oregon wildflowers as we were preparing for a spring getaway. Checking online to see where the plant was likely to be found, we were again surprised that one of the most likely spots was in Cathedral Hills, a BLM park just outside the city limits of Grant’s Pass.
Pulling into the parking area in the late afternoon, after several hikes along the Old Redwood Highway, we were amazed to see the dark maroon plants were literally covering the ground of the oak woods around us. Sometimes by itself, other times mixed with buttercups and the equally plentiful Henderson’s Shooting Star, this plant was clearly thriving here. We later found out that this plant is common in west-side forests in California. The ones we found are near the northern limits of its habitat.
We love you Southern Oregon!