No means of vegetative reproduction. It takes many years to reach reproductive age (Odasz-Albrigtsen 1999), but the plant flowers regularly and seems to be little damaged by bad weather as the flowers are partly protected by the pubescence. Fruit-set is regular. The flowers are adapted to pollination by flower-specific insects. It has been assumed that the genus Pedicularis is obligately pollinated by bumble-bees, but no representatives of this insect group are present in Svalbard. It is probable that the main pollinators are flies and it is also probable that many flowers are self-pollinated. Seed germination in experiments has been extremely low (0.6%; Eurola 1972) or not successful, possibly due to lack of host organisms (Alsos et al. in prep.; Müller et al. in press). The stiff stems and the apical opening of the capsule are adaptations to ballistic dispersal.
The two Svalbard species of Pedicularis − P. dasyantha and P. hirsuta − differ in size (P. dasyantha is often larger, especially the flowers), density of pubescence (P. dasyantha is much more hairy), flower shape and pubescence (P. dasyantha has hairy flowers, P. hirsuta glabrous ones), and somewhat in ecology (P. dasyantha usually occupies drier sites than P. hirsuta, but they often co-exist). Digging up the plants, the roots of P. dasyantha appear distinctly yellow (when fresh), while those of P. hirsuta are white or brownish. The seeds of P. dasyantha have a fluffy white seed coat that acts as a sponge to catch rain water, whereas the seeds of P. hirsuta are small and brown.
Quite thermopilous. Most often occurring in moderately to densely vegetated heaths, slopes and terraces dominated by Dryas octopetala and Cassiope tetragona. Due to the hemi-parasitic behaviour with respect to other plant species, P. dasyantha hardly survives in sparsely vegetated environments. On mixed soils with good or moderate drainage and circumneutral to basic reaction. On moderately sheltered to moderately exposed sites, requiring a minimum of snow protection during winter. Probably little grazed by reindeer and geese.
Pedicularis dasyantha belongs to a small group of four taxa (see Hultén 1968, 1973; Elven et al. 2011), variously treated as species or as subspecies of one species (P. lanata, P. kanei, or P. alopecuroides). The priority species name in this group seems to be P. alopecuroides, if subspecific treatment is preferred. Together these races or species form a nearly circumarctic group with P. dasyantha in Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya and the bordering mainland, and W Taimyr, P. alopecuroides from E Taimyr eastwards to the river Kolyma, P. lanata in NE Asia eastwards from Kolyma and in northern North America and Greenland, and P. pallasii in non-arctic parts of the North Pacific region. Transitions between these four have not yet been confirmed, and rank as species is perhaps the most appropriate with the present level of knowledge.
Ivanina (1980) recognized two varieties in P. dasyantha: var. dasyantha in Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya, and the mainland Yugorskiy Peninsula, and var. igoschiniae Ivanina in Polar Ural and Taimyr. This variation is not independently confirmed.
In the inner Isfjorden area, pale pink colour morphs dominate, whereas darker violet colour morphs dominate in the Kongsfjorden and Woodfjorden/Liefdefjorden areas (Odasz & Savolainen 1996).
Alsos, I.G., Müller, E. & Eidesen, P.B. In prep. Germinability of 87 arctic species stored in Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
Elven, R., Murray, D.F., Razzhivin, V. & Yurtsev, B.A. 2011. Annotated Checklist of the Panarctic Flora (PAF). – Oslo: CAFF/University of Oslo.
Eurola, S. 1972. Germination of seeds collected in Spitsbergen. – Annales Botanici Fennici 9: 149–159.
Hultén, E. 1968b. Comments on the flora of Alaska and Yukon. – Arkiv för Botanik, ser. 2, 7, 1. 147 pp.
Hultén, E. 1973. Supplement to Flora of Alaska and neighboring territories. A study in the flora of Alaska and the transberingian connection. – Botaniska Notiser 126: 459–512.
Ivanina, L.I. 1980b. Pedicularis L. – Pp. 293–331 in Tolmachev, A.I. & Yurtsev, B.A., eds., Flora Arctica URSS. VIII. Geraniaceae–Scrophulariaceae. – Nauka, Leningrad.
Müller, E., Cooper, E.J. & Alsos, I.G. In print. Germinability of arctic plants is high in perceived optimal conditions but low in the field. – Botany.
Odasz, A.M. & Savolainen, O. 1996. Genetic variation in populations of the arctic perennial Pedicularis dasyantha (Scrophulariaceae), on Svalbard, Norway. – American Journal of Botany 83: 1379–1385.
Odasz-Albrigtsen, A.M. 1999. Den fargerike ullmyrkleggen. Et eksempel på en arktisk diploid plante med begrenset genetisk variasjon. – Norsk Polarinstitutt Meddelelse 150: 85–93.
Høyeste registrerte funn på Svalbard
Scientific name, meaning and origin:
Pedicularis: Of latin pediculus, which is deminitiv of pedis, louse. Plantenavn at Scriponius Largus, 40.
dasyantha, dasyanthus: With hairy flowers.See all
|English name:||Wooly Louseworth|
|Pedicularis lanata ssp. dasyantha Trautv.
Pedicularis kanei ssp. dasyantha (Trautv.) Hultén
|Distribution on Svalbard:|
|Chromosome number (2n):||16|
|Main mode of pollination:|
|Source: Brochmann, C. & Steen, S.W, 1999 - Sex and genes in the flora of Svalbard|
All species of the genus Pedicularis:
- Pedicularis dasyantha
- Pedicularis hirsuta