Don’t tell anyone, but I used to think lousewort was kinda ugly – the ugliest plant of the prairie, in fact. But’s it’s grown on me and now I think it’s really neat. It’s unique “fern-like” leaves appear in a basal rosette and send up a single flower stalk. A dense terminal flower spike produces pale yellow snapdragon-like flowers that open from the bottom up. Common lousewort is hemi-parasitic, stealing nutrients from neighbouring plants and, consequently, stunting (but not stopping) their growth. By reducing competition, lousewort creates micro habitats where less-competitive forbs can thrive. Bumblebees are the most common pollinator.
Grows with purple prairie clover, upland white aster, dwarf milkweed, stiff goldenrod, blue-eyed grass, bastard toadflax, hoary puccoon, big bluestem, little bluestem, prairie dropseed and sorghastrum.
Lousewort is only available in combinations.
Flower Colour: yellow
Life Cycle: perennial
Sun Exposure: full sun to part shade
Bloom Period: June – July
Height: 4 – 16”