Wooden Surface


Pedicularis canadensis

(Have you ever heard a scientific name that made you think it would make a great Harry Potter spell? PEDICULARIS! It could either cause your feet to swell like balloons or turns your enemy into a louse. You’ll see why in a moment.)


Wood Betony is a low-growing, early-blooming plant that does well in well-drained to dry soils. The plant emerges from the ground in early April with feathery red leaves, and the showy yellow blossoms appear at the top of the stem in a fascinating pinwheel-pompom shape. A colony of Wood Betony adds a lot of texture and color to a meadow and is a favorite of bees.


Pedicularis canadensis is a hemiparasitic species, which means that while it can photosynthesize, it needs to attach itself to a host plant, usually grasses. This perennial gets some of its nutrients from the roots of neighboring plants.


Getting back to the Harry Potter spell, another common name for this plant was Lousewort, (pediculus is Latin for “louse”) so named because farmers once believed that cattle grazing on this plant would either become infested with lice or that it would repel lice (We’ve seen both versions mentioned!)


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Pedicularis canadensis (Wood betony)

  • details




    herbaceous perennial

    sun needs:

    sun, part sun/part shade

    water needs:

    dry, average, moist

    height: 12"
    plant spacing: 2/sq ft
    bloom time: April, May
    bloom color: yellow
  • good plant companions

    Indian paintbrush, wild lupine

  • special notes

    deer resistant. Please note that does not mean deer proof.