Like most Pedicularis, the ‘King’ has beautiful pinnatifid green/ purple leaves (with a ‘ferny’ look). The attractive flowers – yellow with red tinged lip, disposed in long racemes appear in the summer.
It has become rare and considered an endangered species in some countries. Like all other Pedicularis, it is hemiparasitic, mostly on grasses. Various studies have found that it doesn’t have specific host plants; it will associate with many species from different families.
Images: Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum
Germination: not easy but worth the try. The seeds will germinate even without a host but may not grow further without it. Like indicated for Castilleja, it can be sown in pots together with grass species/pieces of turf placed in pots or sown in situ in the fall (cold/moist stratification), preferably in a moist grass meadow.