Description from Flora of China
Pedicularis versicolor Wahlenberg.
Leaf segments 10--20 pairs. Calyx lobes broadly lanceolate, entire to dentate apically. Corolla galea 0.7--1.4 cm X ca. 3.5 mm, shorter than tube; middle lobe of lower lip not projected.
Four varieties were treated in the Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin.: var. oederi with a 7--9 X 3--3.5 mm galea and broadly lanceolate, entire to distally dentate calyx lobes; var. heteroglossa Prain with a 1.1--1.4 cm galea; var. sinensis (Maximowicz) Hurusawa (subsp. branchyophylla (Pennell) P. C. Tsoong is here treated as a synonym) with a 7--9 mm galea and calyx lobes with spatulate dentate-lobulate tips; and var. angustiflora (H. Limpricht) P. C. Tsoong with a 2 mm wide galea. Variety oederi includes two forms: f. oederi with a yellow corolla and sometimes a purple galea or lower lip with purple spots, and f. rubra (Maximowicz) P. C. Tsoong with a dark red corolla.
T. Yamazaki (Fl. Japan IIIa: 369-370. 1993) treated the plants occurring in Japan as Pedicularis oederi subsp. heteroglossa (Prain) Pennell.
Alpine meadows, pastures, moist meadows of mountain slopes, damp limestone rocks, tundra; 4000--5400 m. Gansu, Hebei, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, S, SE, and W Xizang, Yunnan [Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan; Europe, North America]