Index- plants in this Family
Verbenaceae / Verbena
American Lopseed (Phryma leptostachya)
Plant Type: This is a herbaceous plant, it is a perennial which can reach 100cm in height (39inches).
Leaves: The leaf arrangement is opposite. Leaves can reach 16cm in length (6inches). Each leaf is toothed, ovate to lanceolate and petioled
Flowers: The flowers are irregular in shape and are up to 0.8cm long (0.3 inches). They are purple to white. Blooms first appear in early summer and continue into late summer. The small flowers are in long, slender racemes.
Fruit: An achene enclosed in the calyx and turning sharply down so that it becomes aligned with the peduncle.
Habitat: Rich moist woods.
Range: Most of eastern and central North America. Also in east Asia

      Color Photo     More Info      Classification

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© Daniel Reed

This genus is monotypic. The name Lopseed comes from the turned down or "lopped" achenes.

The plant is also native to Japan and east Asia. It is interesting to think of someone on the other side of the earth, in the foothills of the Himalayas or in the mountains of Japan, observing the same species. How did it make its home is such disparate locations?

Medical Uses: Native Americans (Chippewa) used the root for sore throat by chewing it or gargling a decoction. A tea was use by the Ojibwa as an analgesic for rheumatism. In eastern Asia the root is poulticed for various skin sores and ulcers. Some sources mention the plant being insecticidal. Information is scant and I can find no actual science on these uses. (Densmore)(Foster & Duke)

See the links below this image for other images. (1)

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American Lopseed (Phryma leptostachya) - flower  © Darel Hess
This close-up of the small flower shows the calyx beginning to lop.

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More Info:  
The Search below may provide more information about this species. Some of URLs may have been used as a source for this page not otherwise cited. Most of the information not cited comes from multiple sources that can be found in the Books page. The USDA plant links are provided by: USDA, NRCS 1999. The PLANTS database ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA. You can check species names at ITIS Advanced Search to see if they meet the current ITIS taxonomic criteria.

By: Newcomb, Lawrence and Illustrated by Morrison, Gordon. 1977, Little, Brown and Company, ISBN:0-316-60442-9

One of the best general guides to wildflowers of the North Eastern and North Central United States. Newcomb's key is an excellent, simple method for identifying plants. Newcomb has drawings for almost every plant mentioned that are excellent aids to identifying the species. Though only the more common plants are covered this is often the first book I pick up when trying to identify a wildflower.

Wildflo wers of Tennessee the Ohio Valley and the Southern Appalachians
By: Dennis Horn and Tavia Cathcart and Thomas E. Hemmerly and David Duhl. , ISBN:1551054280

This is perhaps the best of many field guides covering this region. Featuring 446 excellent color photographs (located with the text) and mentioning as similar to those illustrated are another 800 or so species for a total coverage of over 1,200 species. The start of each family section includes line drawings of some of the species showing important features. The text includes the usual description, bloom season, range, habitat and additionally includes information such as medical uses and lore and how the species was named. This is the official field guide of the Tennessee Native Plant Society.

Angiosperms / Flowering Plants
Dicots / Two Seed Leaves



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