Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Pedicularis groenlandica
bull elephant's-head

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest and in the Olympic Mountains in Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains.

Habitat: Seeps, lake shores, wet meadows, and other wet areas from middle elevations to the subalpine.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees, butterflies, hummingbirds


Glabrous, fibrous-rooted perennial, the stems often clustered, 1.5-7 dm. tall.


Basal leaves 5-25 cm. long, the blade slightly longer than the petiole, pinnate, the leaflets narrow, sharply serrate; cauline leaves similar, alternate, gradually reduced upward.


Inflorescence a fairly dense, spike-like raceme, much elongate, the bracts shorter than the flowers, at least the lower cleft into narrow segments; calyx lobes 5, short, entire, sub-equal; corolla pink-purple to nearly red, 1-1.5 cm. long, bilabiate, the upper lip short and strongly hooded, tipped with an elongate, slender, upturned beak; lower lip 3-lobed, rather small; stigma capitate.


Capsule glabrous, flattened, curved.

Identification Notes:

The only other species in our area of a similar reddish color, P. ornithorhychus, has a short, head-like inflorescence, while P. groenlandica\\\'s inflorescence is always much elongate.

Accepted Name:
Pedicularis groenlandica Retz.
Publication: Fl. Scand. Prodr. (ed. 2) 145. 1795.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Elephantella groenlandica (Retz.) Rydb.
Pedicularis groenlandica Retz. var. surrecta (Benth.) A. Gray
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Pedicularis groenlandica in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Pedicularis groenlandica checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Pedicularis groenlandica information.

E-Flora BC: Pedicularis groenlandica atlas page.

CalPhotos: Pedicularis groenlandica photos.

USDA Plants: Pedicularis groenlandica information.

77 photographs:
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