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Pedicularis canadensis

Phonetic Spelling
pe-dik-yoo-LAIR-is ka-na-DEN-sis
Description

Wood Betony is a perennial herbaceous plant in the broomrape family that is native to SE Canada, SE USA and eastern Mexico. In NC it is found in all areas although rare in the coastal plains. It can be found in a variety of habitats including open woods, thickets and clearings. It is a hemiparasite that attaches to the roots of different plants including some grasses but also produces its own chlorophyll. 

The leaves are mostly in a basilar rosette with a few stem leaves. The lobed wavy-edged margins give in a  ferny look. In April-June a spike of 2-lipped yellow flowers appears that bloom from the bottom up and attract bees.

Wood Betony prefers average well-drained soils in sun to partial shade. Use in a naturalized area, open woodland or in native plantings.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
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  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pedicularis
    Species:
    canadensis
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Eaten as a vegetable by native Americans. Infusion of the roots used medicinally.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    Canada south to Florida
    Wildlife Value:
    Bumblebees pollinate the flowers.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Description:
    Angular and hairy fruits
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Lipped
    Flower Petals:
    2-3 rays/petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    flower yellow and reddish corolla; long arching upper lip; borne in short, densely bracted end clusters
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenulate
    Lobed
    Undulate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Lance-shaped leaves, toothed and deeply cut; cluster of simple stems
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Green or reddish-brown stalk covered in hairs