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Flowers prior to bloom

Lycopus americanus

Common Name: American Water Horehound or American Bugleweed
Family: Lamiaceae


Entry Author:  C. Westring
Description:  Perennial herb; a non-aromatic mint, arising from rhizomes; can be identified by the long, sharp-pointed sepals and coarsely toothed leaves
Leaves: 
Pinnately divided lanceolate leaves that are coarsely toothed, simple, and smooth; up to 9 cm long.
Flowers: 
4-petaled white flowers crowded in the axils of the leaves, 3 mm long.
Seeds: 
Nutlets about 2 mm long
Stem:  Erect, unbranched, smooth, square
Branching Pattern:
   Opposite
Height:  15-60 cm
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest:  Near ponds, lakes, streams, low woods, and wet meadows
Range:  Throughout North America except far north and Nevada
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide:  Not threatened
Uses (Human):  The root can be eaten raw or cooked.  The plant is used medicinally as an astringent, mild narcotic, and a mild sedative.  It is also used to treat thyroid and heart problems, hemorrhoid bleeding, and post-childbirth ailments like painful breasts.  It may also be used as a permanent dye for linen and wool

References:

Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains.  February 23, 2005.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.  Accessed: November 29, 2005.  <http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/othrdata/plntguid/species/lycoamer.htm>

Bugleweed.  2005.  Healthtouch Online.  Accessed:  November 29, 2005.   <http://www.healthtouch.com/bin/EContent_HT/altCareMedShowLfts.asp?fname=00215&title=Lycopus+americanus%2C+See+%7CBUGLEWEED+%7C+&cid=HTALT>

Plants for a Future.  June 2004.  Accessed: November 29, 2005. <http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Lycopus+americanus>

Thieret, John W.   National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers: Eastern Region (Rev. Ed.).  New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 2001.

This page was created by: C. Westring, Muhlenberg College
Last updated 12/21/05