Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial or annual, rarely biennial, hemiparasitic. Leaves
alternate, opposite, or whorled, usually pinnatifid to 1- or 2-pinnatisect,
rarely entire or dentate. Lower leaves usually long petiolate;
upper leaves often ± sessile. Inflorescences terminal or
flowers axillary; bracts usually leaflike. Calyx tubular to campanulate,
often ± bilabiate, usually deeply cleft anteriorly, (2--)5-lobed.
Corolla purple, red, yellow, or white, strongly bilabiate; upper
lip (galea) hooded, enclosing anthers, laterally compressed, rounded
or truncate, or terminating in teeth or in a beak; lower lip 3-lobed,
usually spreading, external to upper lip in bud. Stamens 4, didynamous;
filaments glabrous or pubescent; anthers mucronate or not. Stigma
capitate. Capsule moderately compressed or not, loculicidal. Seeds
numerous, reticulate or costate.
About 600 species: best represented in the mountains of SW China and widespread in the frigid and alpine zones of the northern hemisphere; 352 species (271 endemic) occur in China.
From the limited available data,the species of Pedicularis in China are pollinated by bumblebees gathering nectar and/or pollen on nectariferous non-beaked species, and pollen only,by scraping or vibrating,on beaked species including those with long corolla tubes (Macior, L. W. 1988. Plant Species Biol. 3: 61--66.; Macior, L. W. & S. K. Sood. 1991. Plant Species Biol. 6: 75--81.; Macior, L. W., pers. comm.).
The rank of series has been traditionally used in Pedicularis since the time of Prain's work (Ann. Bot. Gard. (Calcutta) 3: 1--196. 1890). Sections (and subgenera) have also been used (e.g., by Bunge in Walpers, Repert. Bot. Syst. 3: 409--433. 1844; Li, H. L. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 101: 1--214. 1949; Yamazaki, T. 1988. A revision of the genus Pedicularis in Nepal. in: Ohba, H. & Malla, S.B. (eds.), The Himalayan Plants 1: 91--161, and others). Because series names have been used widely (e.g., Tsoong, P. C., 1955, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 4: 103--147; Tsoong, P.C., 1963, Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 68) but sectional names only in revisions covering limited areas (e.g., Yamazaki, T. 1988) and since not all species have been assigned to sections yet, the rank of series is used here.
(Authors: Yang Han-bi; Noel H. Holmgren, Robert R. Mill)