Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability
Distribution Map

The colors below indicate the kind of documentation available for this species in the California counties where it occurs.

 

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Little Elephant's Head
Pedicularis attollens
(Scrophulariaceae)

Little Elephant's Head has a corolla divided into two parts. The upper portion forms a beak-like process—the elephant's trunk. The lower portion has spreading lobes forming the drooping ears. The analogy is further strengthened by dark markings which simulate eyes. The flower accidentally looks like one kind of animal. Most species of Pedicularis (Louseworts), however, are named after another — the louse (pediculus). It was once erroneously thought that ingestion of these plants by cattle made them susceptible to infestation by lice.

DISTRIBUTION: Wet meadows, stream margins, and bogs from the Klamath and Cascade Ranges to the Modoc Plateau, high Sierra Nevada, and White and Inyo Mts. of the Great Basin Province; 1500-3900 m.
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