The bright red flowers of warrior’s plume stand out among all other vegetation where they grow, making them easy to recognize, familiar, and much-loved. Native only in Oregon and California, this perennial wildflower is in the broomrape family, and like other plants in the genus Pedicularis, it is parasitic. Warrior’s plume attaches to the roots of other plants, most often plants in the health family, like manzanita and madrone, in order to obtain nutrients and water. It is considered a hemiparasite because parasitism isn’t necessary for its survival, but it takes the opportunity to parasitize when it can in order to increase its survivability and vigor. Warrior’s plume grows at low elevations in oak woodland, mixed conifer forest and chaparral throughout its range. Warrior’s plume has mostly fern-like basal leaves, but smaller leaves grow along the flowering stems that grow 6″-24″ tall. The spiked flower head contains fiery red bracts that are longer than the flowers. Warrior’s plume has multiple medicinal properties and is sometimes over-harvested in the wild for herbal medicine. Grow Warrior’s plume from seed near likely host plants, such as manzanita and madrone. Drought tolerant. Deer resistant.
Warrior’s plume (Pedicularis densiflora) seed packets contain approximately 70 seeds.
Seed Germination Instructions
Warrior’s plume seeds need 30 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall. This species is a hemiparasite and needs a host plant to thrive. It is parasitic on members of the heath family, such as manzanita or madrone.