Notul. Nat. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 95: 7, fig. [p. 9 (right)]. 1942.
Plants 6–12 cm. Leaves: basal 15–20, blade lanceolate to elliptic, 10–20 x 5–10 mm, 2-pinnatifid or 3-pinnatifid, margins of adjacent lobes extensively overlapping, serrate, surfaces glabrous; cauline 4–10, blade elliptic, 10–25 x 3–7 mm, 2-pinnatifid or 3-pinnatifid, margins of adjacent lobes extensively overlapping throughout, serrate, apex cuspidate, surfaces glabrous or tomentose. Racemes simple, 1–4, exceeding basal leaves, each 8–50-flowered; bracts lanceolate or elliptic to trullate, 4–25 x 3–6 mm, 2-pinnatifid, adjacent margins extensively overlapping, proximal margins entire, distal cuspidate, surfaces glabrous or tomentose. Pedicels 4–10 mm. Flowers: calyx 8–12 mm, tomentose, lobes 5, triangular, 1.5–3 mm, apex entire or pinnatifid to serrate, glabrous; corolla 17–27 mm, tube violet-red, 9–10 mm; galea violet-red, 7–15 mm, beakless, margins entire medially, 1-toothed distally, apex arching over abaxial lip; abaxial lip violet-red, 6–9 mm.
Phenology: Flowering Jun–Jul.
Habitat: Gravel fields and slopes at or above tree lines.
Elevation: 2700–3000 m.
Mont., Wash., Wyo.
Pedicularis pulchella occurs in the Absaroka and Beartooth ranges of southwestern Montana and northwestern Wyoming, the Anaconda and Madison ranges of Montana, and one site in the Cascade Range of Washington. The overlapping adjacent lobes of its two-, or sometimes three-, pinnatifid leaves are a characteristic feature of P. pulchella.