Aureolaria pedicularia

From Coastal Plain Plants Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Aureolaria pedicularia
Aure pedi.jpg
Photo by Catherine Herms, The Ohio State University,
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
Order: Lamiales
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Aureolaria
Species: A. pedicularia
Binomial name
Aureolaria pedicularia
((L.) Raf.
AURE PEDI dist.jpg
Natural range of Aureolaria pedicularia from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common name: Fernleaf yellow false foxglove

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Aureolaria pedicularia var. pedicularia; A. pedicularia var. austromontana Pennell; A. pedicularia var. intercedens Pennell; Gerardia pedicularia Linnaeus var. pedicularia; Gerardia pedicularia Linnaeus var. austromontana (Pennell) Fernald; Gerardia pedicularia Linnaeus var. intercedens (Pennell) Fernald; A. pedicularia ssp. caesariensis Pennell; A. pedicularia ssp. carolinensis Pennell; A. pedicularia ssp. austromontana (Pennell) Pennell; A. pedicularia ssp. intercedens (Pennell) Pennell


In its northern range, A. pedicularia is a biennial plant that forms a basal rosette of leaves in late summer and bolts the following spring, while in the southern range, it is an annual. [1] [2] The stem is terete and covered with glandular hairs. [3] The leaves are fernlike, opposite and sessile. [4] [3] In the genus Aureolaria, the plants are either annual or perennial. They are parasitic on the roots of Quercus (oaks) and they turn black when dried. The cauline leaves are opposite or subopposite. The flowers are showy, the calyx is 5-parted, the lobes are shorter to longer than the tube. The corolla is yellow in color, bilabiate, and 5-parted. The tube is campanulate and the lobes are spreading. There are 4 stamens, didynamous, included, filaments are flattened, and the 2 longer more or less lanose. The anther sacs are basally awned. The stigma is capitate and exserted.[5] Specifically for A. pedicularia, is an annual, growing up to a 1 m tall, is profusely branched and is pubescent. The stems are glandular-pubescent below, they are not glandular above. They are parasitic to Quercus velutina (black oaks). The basal rosette leaves are elliptic-lanceolate to rhombic, are entire or irregularly crenate-serrate, and approximately 4-8 cm long, 1.5-3 cm wide. The cauline leaves are lanceolate, entire or bipinnately lobed to parted, the divisions are angulate and sometimes serrate puberulent to pubescent, the trichomes are not glandular, and grow to approximately 2-6 cm long, 8-21 cm wide. The flowers are axillary and solitary. The pedicels are 8-16 mm long, the pedicels and calyx tubes are glandular-pubescent. The calyx lobes are usually folios, the calyx lobes are longer than the tube. The corolla is 3-4.5 cm long and 3-4 cm broad. The capsule is ellipsoid and 8-10 mm long; the lower half is enclosed in the calyx tube. The seeds are wingless. Flowers from September to October.[5]




A. pedicularia can occur in slash pinelands, oak-hickory forests, and oak-pine forests. [6] [7] [8] Large populations have been observed on road banks, powerline corridors and other disturbed areas. The inclination for disturbed areas and prolific seed production allows a strong potential as a forest plantation pathogen. [9] Associated species include Pinus rigida, Castanea pumila, Pinus palustris and species of Quercus.[8] It is a hemiparasitic plant, with a strong affinity for oaks. [9] In Musselman's 1969 study, he suggested that A. pedicularia was specific to oak species, however studies have shown populations growing without oaks hosts. [1][8] Werth suggested that it does not exhibit a promiscuous parasitism characteristic, but a selectivity for fagaceous roots.[8]


Blooms August through September with yellow, zygomorphic campanulate flowers that last one day. [7]

Seed dispersal

This species is thought to be dispersed by wind. [10]

Seed bank and germination

The germination of A. pedicularia is epigeal, with the radicle having a strong geotropic response.[1] The radicles are covered with root hairs however, seedlings do not have root hairs, this phenomenon could be the result of vestigial characteristics. [1] Germination does not depend on light.[1]

Fire ecology

It thrives well in fire prone communities and needs periodic fire. [11] Large stands of A. pedicularia have been observed in an oak-pine forest that is burned every third year.[7]


Three types of bumblebees are responsible for pollination: Bombus impatiens, B. vagans and B. affinis. B. affinis is a nectar robber, cutting holes in the base of the corolla tubes to obtain nectar.[7]

Use by animals

Larva of the Orange Sallow moth (Pyrrhia aurantiago) feed on the flower, developing seeds and foliage in early October.[12]

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Musselman, L. J. (1969). "Observations on the life history of Aureolaria grandiflora and Aureolaria pedicularia (Scrophulariaceae)." American Midland Naturalist 82: 307-311.
  2. Musselman, L. J. and W. F. Mann, Jr (1978). Root parasites of southern forests. , USDA Forest Service, Southern For. Exp. Station, New Orleans, LA. Gen. Tech. Rpt. SO-20. : 76.
  3. 3.0 3.1 [Illinois Wildflowers]Accessed: November 30, 2015.
  4. [Minnesota Department of Natural Resources] Accessed: November 30, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 956-7. Print.
  6. Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: Robert K. Godfrey. States and Counties: Florida: Wakulla. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Stiles, Edmund W.. Foraging Behavior of Bumblebees on False Foxglove. Journal of the New York Entomological Society 85.4 (1977): 249–252.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Werth, Charles R., and James L. Riopel. A Study of the Host Range of Aureolaria Pedicularia (L.) Raf. (Scrophulariaceae). American Midland Naturalist 102.2 (1979): 300–306.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Musselman, L. J. and H. E. Grelen (1979). "Population of Aureolaria=Pedicularia (L) Raf (Scrophulariaceae) without oaks." American Midland Naturalist 102(1): 175-177.
  10. Kirkman, L. Katherine. Unpublished database of seed dispersal mode of plants found in Coastal Plain longleaf pine-grasslands of the Jones Ecological Research Center, Georgia.
  11. [Rare Plants of New Hampshire] Accessed December 1, 2015
  12. [Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program]Accessed December 1, 2015