Capitate Lousewort - Pedicularis capitata
|Capitate lousewort, Pedicularis capitata.|
Capitate Lousewort is a member of the largest genus within the Figwort family: Pedicularis.
General Information and Anatomy
They are characterized by colourful spikes of flowers and a basal rosette of leaves. The calyx of each flower is tubular and the petals are arranged in two sections. The upper part forms a helmet that conceals the stamens, while the lower portion lies flat to create a landing pad for insects; this drops down under the insect's weight to provide access to the nectar. Young flowering stems and roots of the woolly lousewort, P. lanata, arctic lousewort, P. arctica, and hairy lousewort, P. hirsuta, are edible – either raw in salads or cooked.
The louseworts are the only members of the Figwort family whose range extends into the High Arctic.