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Aureolaria pedicularia (L.) Raf.

Photo: Fern-leaved False Foxglove in flower

Fern-leaved False Foxglove

Habitat: Dry deciduous woods and clearings. [Dry barrens (partly forested, upland); Hardwood to mixed forest (forest, upland)]

Range: Southern Maine to eastern Minnesota, south to Florida and Louisiana.

Aids to Identification: This bushy annual grows 0.3-1.3 m high. The stem is hairy and the funnel-shaped yellow flowers are 2-3 cm wide. It has unusual 'fern-like' leaves which are deeply divided and arranged in opposite pairs along the stem.

Photo: flower of Fern-leaved False Foxglove

Ecological characteristics: In Maine, this species is known to occur in pitch pine-scrub oak barrens and dry rocky woods.

Phenology: Flowers August - September.

Family: Orobanchaceae

Synonyms: Sometimes referred to by its former name, Gerardia pedicularia L., Agalinis pedicularia (L.) Blake, or, in very old treatments, as Dasistoma pedicularia (L.) Benth. Maine populations are Aureolaria pedicularia var. pedicularia.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 20 town(s) in the following county(ies): Androscoggin, Cumberland, Lincoln, Oxford, York.

Dates of documented observations are: 1889, 1893, 1895, 1896, 1898, 1902, 1903, 1916, 1920, 1933, 1938, 1957, 1990, 1991 (3), 1992 (2), 1994, 1997, 2000 (6), 2001 (6)

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range.

Conservation considerations: This plant is restricted statewide to southern Maine. Populations are vulnerable to conversion of their habitat to residential or commercial use; several historic locations have not been recently documented.