Aureolaria pedicularia (L.) Raf.

Photo: Fern-leaved False Foxglove in flower

Fern-leaved False Foxglove

Habitat: Dry deciduous woods and clearings. [Dry barrens (partly forested, upland); Hardwood to mixed forest (forest, upland)]

Range: Southern Maine to eastern Minnesota, south to Florida and Louisiana.

Aids to Identification: This bushy annual grows 0.3-1.3 m high. The stem is hairy and the funnel-shaped yellow flowers are 2-3 cm wide. It has unusual 'fern-like' leaves which are deeply divided and arranged in opposite pairs along the stem.

Photo: flower of Fern-leaved False Foxglove

Ecological characteristics: In Maine, this species is known to occur in pitch pine-scrub oak barrens and dry rocky woods.

Phenology: Flowers August - September.

Family: Orobanchaceae

Synonyms: Represented in Maine by variety pedicularia. Synonyms include Agalinis pedicularia (L.) Blake; Agalinis pedicularia (L.) Blake var. caesariensis (Pennell) Blake; Aureolaria pedicularia (L.) Raf. ssp. caesariensis Pennell; Aureolaria pedicularia (L.) Raf. ssp. carolinensis Pennell; Aureolaria pedicularia (L.) Raf. var. carolinensis (Pennell) Pennell; Aureolaria pedicularia ssp. typica Pennell; Dasistoma pedicularia (L.) Benth.; Gerardia pedicularia L.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 28 town(s) in the following county(ies): Androscoggin, Cumberland, Lincoln, Oxford, Sagadahoc, York.

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: This plant is restricted statewide to southern Maine. Populations are vulnerable to conversion of their habitat to residential or commercial use; several historic locations have not been recently documented.