Lousewort, Marsh

Information on Marsh Lousewort

Common Name: Marsh Lousewort
Scientific Name: Pedicularis palustris
Irish Name: Milseán móna
Family Group: Orobanchaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period

Click for list of all flowering by month
Marsh Lousewort could sometimes be confused with:


This is the less common of our two native Louseworts and it is not as commonly found as Pedicularis sylvatica which occurs frequently throughout the country. Quite distinctive, it stands about 60 cm tall, an erect, almost hairless plant. It's an annual or biennial which has one single, branching stem which bears deep pink, open-lipped flowers (20-25 mm) with four little teeth on the upper lip. The calyx is two-lipped and downy. Oblong in outline, the feathery leaves are deeply divided with toothed lobes. This wildflower is usually found on acid soils, bogs, moors, fens and marshes. It flowers from May to September, is a native plant and belongs to the Orobanchaceae family.  

My first record of this wildflower is in Pollardstown Fen, County Kildarein 2010 when I also photographed it. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

This wildflower is also known as Red Rattle because of the sound the seeds make shaking in their pods. By attaching its roots to those of other plants, this plant obtains some of its nutrients from them althought this does not harm those plants.  

Lousewort, Marsh
Lousewort, Marsh
Lousewort, Marsh