|Damp acid soils of heaths, bogs and moors
April - July.
To a maximum height of 20 cms.
The common name lousewort, applied to several species, derives from an
old belief that these plants, when ingested, were responsible for lice
infestations in stock, hence the latin name Pedicularis from the Latin, Pedis, meaning Louse.
A more probable explanation for the link to lice in sheep could be that
the Lousewort transmits liver-flukes, the parasitic worms which rot the
livers of sheep. Lousewort thrives in damp places and may well be
submerged in water in the winter. In these conditions, snails carrying
embryo liver-flukes often cling to vegetation and and could be
transferred to grazing sheep. Sheep infected with liver-flukes are
almost certainly infected with lice too.