Paired Flower Lousewort
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Paired Flower Lousewort
ative Photo: Balkar Singh
Common name: Paired Flower Lousewort
Botanical name: Pedicularis porrecta    Family: Orobanchaceae (Broomrape family)

Paired Flower Lousewort is a perennial herbs 5-18 cm tall characterized by lax flower spikes or heads, with 2-4 nodes having 2 flowers each. Flowers are reddish purple, 2-2.5 cm long, tube straight, 1.0-1.5 cm long 1 mm wide, about 2 times as long as the calyx. Galea strongly decurved at the middle, the erect part about 2 mm long, the anther-bearing part 2.5-3 mm wide, gradually narrowing into a slender beak, the beak, about 6 mm long, obliquely truncate at tip, lower lip large, nearly equaling the galea, about 1 cm long 1.2 cm wide, 3-lobed, the middle lobe circular, about 4 mm long 5 mm wide, the lateral lobes kidney-shaped, 7 mm wide. Pedicels are 1-3 mm long. Sepal tubular, 8-9 mm long 2.5 mm wide, villose, 5-lobed, the posterior lobe setaceous, long-pointed at tip, entire, about 1 mm long, the lateral lobes obovate, irregularly crenate-dentate, reflexed, 1-2 mm long and wide. Stems are branched at base, simple, stout, erect or ascending, with bifarious crispy long pilose hairs. Leaves are opposite, basal ones clustered and long-stalked up to 2 cm long, Stem leaves 1-2-paired shortly stalked, blades linear-oblong to ovate-oblong, 0.8-3 cm long 4-10 mm wide in outline, pinnately cut, the pinnae 4-8-paired, oblong or oblong-ovate, pointed-toothed, reflexed on the margins. Bracts are leaf-like, broadly ovate, with short broad petioles, as long as the calyx. Paired Flower Lousewort is found on open grassy slopes, in close turfs, in grassy hollows on open hillsides in the Himalayas, from Chamba to C Nepal and S Tibet, at altitudes of 3600-4500 m.

Identification credit: Balkar Singh
Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.
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