Bull Elephant Head
Pedicularis groenlandica (Retz.); Rydb.
Collected probably near Kamiah, Idaho Co., Idaho, in late May of 1806 rather than along the Blackfoot River in Powell Co., Montana, on 6 Jul 1806 as Pursh (1813: 426) gives the location of the species as on "the low plains of the Columbia. (Source)
The Bull-elephant head has a purplish flower, fern-like leaves. It grows on grasses and sedges on whose roots this plant is parasitic. It has pikes to 18 in. carrying showy clusters of pink-purple flowers. The individual flowers resemble an elephant's face – the upper petals twisted and curled into a long "snout." It's un-branched stems usually cluster together and vary in height from 8 to 24 inches. The leaves are lance-shaped in outline, pinattely divided, then lobed and toothed. The Bull-elephant head blooms in Jun-Aug. It grows in cool, moist, meadows at elevations from 6,000 to 11,000 feet. It prefers moist, especially early soils and occurs around beaver ponds, bogs, meadows, and along streams and lakeshores; often growing in shallow water in open spaces. It is found throughout the Western U. S.
Elk graze on the elephant head in early summer.
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