Pedicularis procera is a large herb with basal leaves that are dissected into a fernlike pattern. The vegetative plant looks like a fern to the unsuspecting. However, the reproductive spike can be several feet tall and is unmistakable. It contains hundreds of large irregular pink flowers on a single thick stalk. The fruit is a beaked, loculicidal capsule.
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Stems to 1 m or more, glabrous to pubescent, leafy. Leaves: Glabrous or sometimes pubescent at first, pinnately divided nearly to midrib, segments lanceolate, serrate to incised. Flowers: Inflorescence a many-flowered villous, spicate raceme 20-50 cm long; lower floral bracts pinnatifid, often longer than the flowers; calyx 10-15 mm long, about equally 5-cleft, lobes lanceolate, entire, corolla sordid yellowish-green, sometimes with streaks of red, 25-30 mm long, upper hood 10-15 mm long, truncate, not beaked, curving downward, 2-toothed. Fruits: Flattened loculicidal capsule, beaked. Ecology: Found in rich soil often along streams from 7,000-10,000 ft (2134-3048 m); flowers July-August. Notes: This species was falsely identified as being at Fort Bowie NHS. Ethnobotany: Used ceremonially. Etymology: Pedicularis is from the Latin pediculus, meaning louse, while procera means tall and slender. Synonyms: Pedicularis grayi Editor: SBuckley, 2010