With its unmistakable elephantine head, ears, and trunk, there is no question as to where the Little Pink Elephant (Pedicularis groenlandica) got its common name.
This endearing little bloom is probably in the top 5 of my Colorado wildflower favorites. It generally grows in vast herds in boggy meadows in the montane, sub-alpine, and alpine zones of Colorado. Little Pink Elephant is a root parasite, meaning it draws nutrients from the roots of nearby plants by piercing them with an appendage called a haustorium. The Cheyenne tribe used an infusion of the leaves of this plant to relieve coughs. The type locale of the Little Pink Elephant (i.e. the place for which it was named) is the southern tip of Greenland (“groenlandica“).