Gerardia pedicularia Nutt.

Gerardia pedicularia plant

Family - Scrophulariaceae

Stems - To .8m tall, erect, branching, herbaceous, from stout whitish roots, mostly 4-angled, densely glandular pubescent, viscid. Hairs of the stem both long and short.

Gerardia pedicularia stem

Leaves - Opposite, short-petiolate to sessile, pinnately lobed, ovate, pubescent as the stem. Lobes divided again. Ultimate divisions acute. Leaves of the flowering branches +/-3cm long, +/-2cm broad. Leaves falling easily and quickly as the plant dries.

Gerardia pedicularia leaves

Inflorescence - Typically single axillary flowers in the upper stems and branches. Pedicels pubescent as the stem, +1cm long, ascending, expanded at the apex and slightly darker green at the base of the calyx.

Flowers - Corolla yellow, +/-3cm long, pubescent externally and internally, lobed. Lobes rounded. Stamens 4, included to partially exserted, didynamous. Filaments to 1.5cm long, one pair mostly glabrous, one pair pubescent to the apex. Anthers 6mm long, bilobed, with pointed bases, dehiscing longitudinally, pubescent along the suture. Ovary superior, glabrous, 2-3mm long and broad in flower, slightly compressed, whitish-green. Style glabrous, light green, to 1.5m long in flower. Stigma darker green than the style, swollen. Calyx accrescent. Calyx tube to 5-6mm long in flower, 4-5-lobed, pubescent as the stem, whitish-green. Calyx lobes foliaceous, 1-1.5cm long in flower, longer in fruit (to +2cm ), green like the leaves.

Gerardia pedicularia calyxCalyx.

Gerardia pedicularia corollaCorolla tube.

Gerardia pedicularia flower

Flowering - August - September.

Habitat - Dry and rocky open woods, borders of glades. On acid substrates.

Origin - Native to U.S.

Other info. - This species can be found in the Ozark region of Missouri and is fairly common. It is easily identified in the field because of its divided, opposite leaves, large yellow flowers, and viscid stems (which are covered with glandular hairs).
The plant is worthy of cultivation and would do well in a dry area with little or no care.
The species epithet of this plant derives from the fact that its leaves closely resemble those of another genus in the family, Pedicularis.

Photographs taken off Hwy. Z, Carter County, MO., 8-31-03.


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