Pedicularis sylvatica Orobanchaceae Lousewort

Flower Capsules

Pedicularis sylvatica 26kb

Description - This low-growing plant (up to 10cm) has small, pinnate leaves with wiggly margins, and they are bronze-coloured. Each pale pink flower has an upright, hooded petal, then a lower lid divided into three. The calyx inflates when the plant goes to seed, forming a short spike of swollen seed-cases.

Habitat - Lousewort occurs in damp, poorly drained soils, such as dune slacks, and cannot compete with more vigorous plants.

Comments - This is quite rare in Guernsey at present, being found in several places at L'Ancresse, then at the opposite end of Guernsey, at Pleinmont. It is thought that it is partly parasitic, obtaining some of its nutrients from the roots of other plants.

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