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Dicerandra frutescens grows in dry, sandy soils where physical disturbances have created gaps in the canopy (Menges et al. 2006: 1992, 1999).

Dicerandra frutescens generates monoterpenes such as pulegone that may prevent herbivory (Smedley et al. 1990: 156, 158). The larval stage of the moth Pyrausta panopealis can ingest the leaves despite the presence of the compound (Smedley et al. 1990: 158). The moth may produce enzymes that can neutralize its effects (Smedley et al. 1990: 158). The larva applies regurgitated droplets of the consumed leaf on their silken enclosures to take advantage of its anti-insectan properties (Smedley, et al. 1990: 158-9).

Dicerandra frutescens requires physical disturbance such as fire to create gaps in the canopy layer (Menges et al. 2006: 121). At Archbold Biological Station in Highlands County, Florida, extinction risks are predicted to be minimal when fires occurred every 6-12 years (Menges et al. 2006: 121, 127). Without this relatively frequent burning there is a risk that the open, sunlit habitats favorable to D. frutescens will be dominated by shrubs that will close these critical gaps (Menges, et al., 2006: 123). Controlled-burns were recommended (previous burns were done once every 15-100 years) to minimize potential for extinction of D.fructescens populations (Menges et al. 2006: 125).


Menges, E. S., Quintanan Asencio, P. F., Weekley, Carl W. & Gaouge, O. G. 2006. Population viability analysis and fire return intervals for an endemic Florida scrub mint. Biological Conservation 127: 115-127.

Smedley, S. R., McCormick, K. D. & Eisner, T. 1990. Interaction of Pyrausta Panopealis (Pyralidae) with a newly-reported host, the endangered mint Dicerandra fructescens (Labiatae). Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society 44:156-172.


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