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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Curve-beak Lousewort - Pedicularis contorta

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4S5

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank:
C-value: 4

External Links

General Description
Stems 8–30 cm, clustered on the caudex. Leaves mainly basal 3–14 cm long; blades deeply pinnately lobed into narrowly oblong, serrate segments 2–10 cm long. Inflorescence sparsely flowered, 2–20 cm long; bracts lanceolate with 1 or 2 pairs of linear lobes. Flowers: calyx 6–10 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes 1–3 mm long, the one closest to the galea shorter; corolla white to reddish-purple, 10–16 mm long; galea 5–8 mm long with a long, beak curved into a semicircle; lower lip wide, the 2 outer lobes much wider than the central one. Capsule 6–10 mm long (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Our plants are variety contorta, variety ctenophora (Rydb.) A.Nelson & J.F.Macbr., and variety rubicunda Reese

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
BC, AB south to CA, ID and WY (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 487

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Common in grasslands, meadows, open forest; montane, subalpine (Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Johnson, T. W. 1982. An analysis of pack and saddle stock grazing areas in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. M.Sc.Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 105 p.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Martinka, R.R. 1970. Structural characteristics and ecological relationships of male blue grouse (Dendragapus obscurus (Say)) territories in southwestern Montana. Ph.D Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 73 p.
    • Reese, R.N. 1984. A new variety of Pedicularis contorta (Scrophulariaceae) endemic to Idaho and Montana. Brittonia 36:63-66.
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Citation for data on this website:
Curve-beak Lousewort — Pedicularis contorta.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from