Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago


S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Pedicularis sudetica complex Willd.

French: Pédiculaire de Sudètes.

Scrophulariaceae, Fernweed family.

Published in Sp. Pl. 3: 209. 1800.

Type: Described from Central Europe: the Sudeten mountains.


Vegetative morphology. Plants (5–)10–20(–30) cm high; perennial herbs. Only fibrous roots present (fusiform roots arise from the caudex). Ground level or underground stems horizontal, or absent; rhizomatous (short, stout, ascending); compact. Caudex present (surrounded by leaf bases). Aerial stems erect. Aerial stem trichomes present; spreading, or erect (if applicable). Leaves heterophyllous; mainly basal; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent. Petioles present (basal leaves), or absent (leaves near the inflorescence); (0–)35–45(–75) mm long; winged (at both ends, narrow in the middle); glabrous. Leaf blades simple (pinnately divided). Leaf blade bases truncate (basal leaf divisions erect). Blades (15–)20–50(–75) mm long, 3.5–7(–9) mm wide (usually, rarely to 25 mm wide, with 15–25 leaf divisions, these 1–3(-12) mm wide, usually well separated and at right angles to the midrib), spreading, lanceolate, flat, veins pinnate. Blade adaxial surface glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous. Blades cut into linear divisions. Blade margins entire or dentate (on linear divisions), glabrous; apices acute.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems solitary. Flowering stems circular or oval in cross section. Flowering stems without leaves (or with a single leaf; this contrasts with other pink-flowered species in the Arctic as they have several leaves on the flowering stems). Flowering stems glabrous. Flowering stems pilose. Flowering stem glandular hairs absent. Inflorescences head-like; terminal; dense; globose or sub-globose (in bud), or oblong (in flower); 3–4 cm long; 20–30 mm wide; elongating as the fruit matures. Pedicels present, or absent (or inconspicuous among the dense hairs of the inflorescence). Floral bracts green and purplish red; 8–25(–36) mm long (dilate at the base, with prominent "shoulders" but without conspicuous lateral projections). Flowers per inflorescence numerous; large; bilaterally symmetrical (zygomorphic). Sepals conventional; 5; fused; 7–10(–12) mm wide; green, or purple (on the midvein). Calyx tubular; 5-lobed; hairy. Calyx hairs woolly; non-glandular; white or translucent. Petals conventional; fused; 5; purple (reddish on the arched helmet), or pink (paler on the 3 lower petals); with contrasting markings (in the form of few to many purple spots on the lower petals); 16–21 mm long. Corolla bilabiate; 2-lobed (helmet), or 3-lobed (lip or landing petal); helmet not prolonged into a long beak; helmet with 2 small teeth at the apex. Stamens 4; stamen filaments all equal in length (a single zone of anthers is seen in the arch of the helmet petal when the stigma is ripe); stamen filaments hairy at base only; free of the corolla. Anthers purple; ellipsoid; 1.5–2.3 mm long. Nectaries present (as a swollen ring at the base of the ovary). Ovary superior; carpels 2; syncarpous. Ovaries inverse turnip-shaped; glabrous. Styles 1; 20–22 mm long; straight. Stigmas per ovary 1. Placentation axile. Ovules per ovary few. Fruit sessile (sub-sessile); with calyx persisting; dry; a capsule; broadly lanceolate; brown (and woolly greyish from the calyx at the base); 6–8 mm long; 3.5–4.5 mm wide; surface venation reticulate; distinctly flattened; dehiscent; opening at the apex and partially or fully down one side. Seeds few; (1.5–)2–3 mm long; yellowish (testa, the centre of the seed which can be seen through the testa, is brown); surfaces smooth (but papery, loose-fitting outer testa with quadrangular cells, which lose their outer wall at maturity).

Chromosome information. 2n = 16.

(2n) (2x) = 16. Löve and Löve (1944b, northern Europe; 1982a, Arctic Canada); Harmsen, in Löve and Löve (1948, Greenland?); Sørensen and Westergaard, in Löve and Löve (1948, Greenland); Harmsen, in Jørgensen et al. (1958, Greenland); Sokolovskaya and Strelkova (1960, 1962); Sokolovskaya (1962, 1968, northeastern Asia, Koryak); Sorsa (1963b, Finland); Laane (1965, northern Norway); Zhukova (1966, northeastern Asia); Knaben and Engelskjøn (1967, southern Norway); Zhukova et al. (1977, northeastern Asia); Krogulevich (1978, southern Siberia); Zhukova (1980, northeastern Asia); Dalgaard (1988, western Greenland).

Ploidy levels recorded 2x.

Indigenous knowledge. Kjellman (1882) indicated that people in Chukchi prepare a "sauerkraut" from the flowering stems and eat the boiled rootstock in soup.

Ecology and habitat. Substrates: wet meadows, along streams, lakeshores, flood plains; imperfectly drained moist areas, seepage slopes (Elven (personal communication, 2005) observed that he associates this species group with "mire" and "marsh" habitats); gravel, sand, silt; calcareous. Imperfectly drained lower part of seepage slope, on silty diamicton in sedge wet meadow (CAN 518512); on wet mossy hummock above high tide zone (CAN 522722); imperfectly drained edge of low centre polygon on raised, old river terrace in sedge-moss meadow (CAN 484886).

North American distribution. Alaska, Yukon, Northwest Territories Islands, continental Northwest Territories, Nunavut Islands, continental Nunavut, northern Quebec. Range in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago widespread. Common. Arctic, alpine. Arctic islands: Baffin, Devon, Axel Heiberg, Parry islands (Eglinton, Melville, Prince Patrick), Cornwallis, Banks, Victoria, Prince of Wales, Somerset, King William, Southampton, Coats (Bylot and Melville peninsulas).

Northern hemisphere distribution. Circumpolar, or circumboreal (with a North Atlantic gap). Northern Fennoscandian, Kanin–Pechora, Polar Ural – Novaya Zemlya, Yamal–Gydan, Taimyr – Severnaya Zemlya, Anabar–Olenyok, Kharaulakh, Yana–Kolyma, West Chukotka, Wrangel Island, South Chukotka, East Chukotka, West Alaska, North Alaska – Yukon, Central Canada, Labrador – Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Land – Peary Land.

General notes. Molau and Murray (1996) revised the Pedicularis sudetica complex in the Arctic and recognised six taxa, two of which occur in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Pedicularis albolabiata (Hultén) Kozhevn and Pedicularis arctoeuropaea (Hultén) Molau and D.F. Murray. They noted that the P. sudetica complex is found in eastern Europe, Asia, and North America, and just reaches northwest Greenland at Thule. Pedicularis sudetica s.s. is isolated in the Sudeten Mountains of central Europe, whereas the remaining taxa are found in arctic tundra and northern Taiga of Russia, United States, and Canada. The complex consists of taxa whose morphological boundaries have been considered blurred by transitional forms; hence they were treated as infraspecific ranks by Hultén (1961), whose taxonomy has greatly influenced subsequent treatments (e.g., Scoggan 1979, Porsild and Cody 1980). We are currently treating both species (following Molau and Murray 1996), but also describe the complex. Pedicularis sudetica as used in the North references cited below are either P. albolabiata or P. arctoeuropaea.

Polunin (1940, p. 330) stated that "Most arctic members of this genus are sufficiently clear-cut and constant to cause little, if any, embarrassment even to the most conscientious taxonomist, but the present species [P. sudetica] by contrast is so variable that it obviously needs further study. [The variation in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago] is most marked in the density and length of the mature fruiting inflorescences and in the shape of the capsules. These latter may be oblong or gradually tapering towards the apex, and either short and plump, barely exceeding the calyx tube, or relatively long and slender, twice the length of the calyx tube."

Hultén (1961) [Sv. Bot. Tidskr. 55] described the entities of the P. sudetica group as subspecies of that species. Molau and Murray (1996) [Symb. Bot. Upsal. 31, 3] raised them to separate species and especially disputed the assumed close relations to the central European P. sudetica Willd.

MacInnes and Cavers (1971) reported on the reproduction of P. sudetica in Nunavut, at McConnell River, 60°50'N, 94°25'W, after a study that lasted 3–4 years. They found the average number of seeds per plant, per reproductive attempt, was less than 40% of the estimated potential output. Inadequate pollination was suggested as the problem, as some of the flowers of P. sudetica did not set seed in insect exclusion experiments. Of the reproductive attempt 51% of some flowers, capsules, ovules, and developing seeds were destroyed by insects and other animals.

Williams and Batzlli (1982) found P. sudetica in Alaska had an intermediate number of ovules but low pollination success and low numbers of seeds per shoot when growing in isolated patches.

Subspecies interior occurs in the Russian Far East, Alaska, and Canada, but the taxon is probably not in the Arctic islands (Murray, personal communication, 2002).

This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.