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Pedicularis verticillata - Verticillate Lousewort

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Lamiales - Family: Orobanchaceae

Pedicularis verticillata in Slovenia

Above: Pedicularis verticillata in the Triglav National Park in Slovenia

Louseworts are semi-parasitic plants taking part of their nutrients from the roots of surrounding plants. The flowers of louseworts are reminiscent of deadnettle flowers, but it is the feathery-looking leaves of louseworts that generally set them apart. Each leaf is deeply divided into what look like smaller leaves, also lobed, and in the case of Pedicularis verticillata, the leaves grow in a circular formation (whorled) around the stem. The blunt-topped flower spikes of this plant are densely packed with two-lipped, deep pink flowers that are interspersed with bracts.

This plant thrives in stony and rocky meadows and is present throughout much of Central Europe. It flowers in July and August.

The specimens shown on this page were photographed in meadows in Slovenia in July.