Wooly Lousewort

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Scientific Information

Young shoot of Wooly Lousewort.
Wooly Lousewort with blossoms
The Wooly Lousewort (Pedicularis lanata) is a common plant in moist stony tundra and on beach ridges. They are found circumpolar, arctic alpine, and high arctic.

Wooly Lousewort has a pale yellow taproot, stout densely white wooly stem and a dense flowered wooly spike of faintly scented bright pink flowers.

There are some edible parts of this plant. You can pick the flowers and suck the sweet nectar from the base of the long corolla tube. The root, which is lemon yellow and sweet, like young carrot, may be eaten raw or cooked; the flowering stem may be eaten boiled as a potherb.

Community Information




Spoken Name

Relevant Site Information

The Wooly Lousewort grows on bare low tundra hills near the beach on the barrier islands hear along the northern coast of the Seward Peninsula. Traditionally the root has been rinsed and eaten raw with or without uqsruq (seal oil).


S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, L.J. Gillespie, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, A.K. Brysting and H. Solstad. 1999 onwards. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. Version: 29th April 2003.

Murray, David, Curator Emeritus, Herbarium, Professor Emeritus, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Personal interview.

Parker, Carolyn, Research Professional, Herbarium, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Personal interview.

Threlkeld, Niki. Flowering Plants of the High-Arctic. Santa Fe: Flora Publishing, 1991.

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