One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A partially parasitic herbaceous plant of the figwort family, typically favouring damp habitats. It is native to both Eurasia and North America and was formerly reputed to harbour lice.
Genus Pedicularis, family Scrophulariaceae: several species, including the red rattle
- ‘Now the engineers have proudly announced the discovery of no fewer than five clumps of louseworts safely beyond the proposed dam site.’
- ‘Leafy lousewort may be found in open coniferous woods or in openings in the forest at timberline.’
- ‘Among the common wildflowers are one-flowered cinquefoil, woolly lousewort, alpine willowherb, three saxifrages, and an Indian paintbrush.’
- ‘Swamp lousewort, however, is a taller, more upright plant, and its leaves have no stalk or only a very short stalk.’
- ‘The lousewort grows mostly on north-facing riverbanks because the vegetation is less dense there.’
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