Northern Water-Horehound

Northern_Water-horehound_jpgThis family of plants (Lamiaceae), commonly called the mint family, has 221 genera and 5.600 species of herbs, shrubs and a few trees.  It is a preeminent family of culinary and medical herbs including lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, balm, marjoram, savory and basil. The genus Lycopus means “wolf foot” from lukos (wolf) and pous (foot). Northern Water-Horehound is edible and the tubers can be added to salad, boiled and served with butter or pickled. In the 19th century Anglo-American medical people used another plant in this genus (Lycopus virginicus commonly known as Bugleweed) as an astringent and to calm the nerves.  It was given for coughs, internal bleeding and urinary incontinence.  This species also has sedative properties and was used to treat racing heartbeat and overactive thyroid.

 

OtherCommonName:

Common Water-Horehound, Northern Bugleweed

ScientificName:

Lycopus uniflorus

Community:

Freshwater Wetlands

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

to 3 feet

FruitingTime:

July to October

Distribution:

Newfoundland to Arkansas and west to California ~ Statewide in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

July to September

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Plant is stoloniferous (stolon is creeping stem on the surface of the ground), each stolon ends in a shallow tuber from which a solitary stem arises the next year ~ Leaves hairy, lance shaped or oblong, light green, fine toothed, tapering at both ends ~ Stems slender, hairless, rising from a tuber