Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 18. 1803.
Plants 20–100 cm. Leaves: basal 0; cauline 10–30, blade lanceolate, 20–100 x 10–30 mm, 1-pinnatifid, margins of adjacent lobes nonoverlapping, 2-serrate, surfaces hispid. Racemes paniculate, 1, each 10–20-flowered; bracts lanceolate to trullate, 5–10 x 3–5 mm, undivided or 1-pinnatifid and 1- or 2-auricled, proximal margins entire, distal 1- or 2-serrate, surfaces glabrous or hispid. Pedicels 1–1.5 mm. Flowers: calyx 7–12 mm, glabrous or hispid, lobes 2, trullate, ovate, elliptic, or triangular, 2.5–3.5 mm, apex serrate, glabrous, sometimes ciliate; corolla 16–22 mm, tube white, cream, or light yellow, 8–12 mm; galea white, cream, or light yellow, 8–12 mm, beaked, beak straight, 0.5–2.5 mm, margins entire medially and distally, apex extending over abaxial lip; abaxial lip white, cream, or light yellow, 7–10 mm. 2n = 16.
Phenology: Flowering Aug–Oct.
Habitat: Wet meadows, fens, springs, moist prairies, swamps.
Elevation: 10–1100 m.
Man., Ont., Ark., Conn., Del., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Ky., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Nebr., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Pa., S.Dak., Tenn., Va., W.Va., Wis.
The long corolla tubes of Pedicularis lanceolata are uncharacteristically nectarless, and only late season pollen-foraging worker bumblebees pollinate this species (L. W. Macior 1969). The uniquely hinged abaxial lip covering the opening of the galea is an adaptation to allow only worker bumblebees access to the anthers, as they must learn to push it aside during foraging.