Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Range and Habitat in Illinois
Range and Habitat in Illinois
Flower-Visiting Insects of Hairy Wood Mint in Illinois
(Bees suck nectar or collect pollen, while flies suck nectar or feed on pollen; other insects suck nectar; one observation is from Graenicher, otherwise they are from Robertson)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn fq; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus auricomus sn, Bombus bimaculatus sn fq, Bombus griseocallis sn fq, Bombus impatiens sn, Bombus pensylvanica sn fq, Psithyrus citrinus sn, Psithyrus variabilis sn; Anthophoridae (Anthophorini): Anthophora terminalis sn cp, Anthophora walshii sn; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina calcarata sn, Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp fq; Anthophoridae (Epeolini): Triepeolus concavus sn, Triepeolus cressonii cressonii sn, Triepeolus lunatus concolor sn fq, Triepeolus remigatus sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Florilegus condigna sn, Melissodes agilis sn, Melissodes bimaculata bimaculata sn fq, Melissodes communis sn, Melissodes comptoides sn fq, Melissodes trinodis sn, Peponapis pruinosa pruinosa sn, Svastra obliqua obliqua sn; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys octodentata sn, Coelioxys rufitarsis rufitarsis sn, Coelioxys sayi sn fq; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn, Megachilie inimica sayi sn fq, Megachile latimanus sn, Megachile mendica sn fq, Megachile petulans sn, Megachile rugifrons sn fq, Megachile texana sn; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Hoplitis pilosifrons sn; Megachilidae (Trypetini): Heriades leavitti sn cp
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn cp fq, Agapostemon splendens sn, Agapostemon virescens sn, Augochlora purus purus sn, Augochlorella striata sn cp fq, Augochloropsis metallica metallica sn, Halictus rubicunda sn, Lasioglossum cinctipes sn, Lasioglossum imitatus cp np fq, Lasioglossum macoupinensis cp np, Lasioglossum pectoralis sn cp, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis fp np
Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila kennedyi, Ammophila nigricans, Ammophila procera; Tiphiidae: Myzinum quinquecincta; Pompilidae: Ceropales fulvipes; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Euodynerus foraminatus fq
Syrphidae: Allograpta obliqua fp np, Chalcosyrphus nemorum fp np, Eristalis transversus sn, Syritta pipiens fp np fq, Tropidia albistylum sn; Empididae: Empis clausa sn; Bombyliidae: Anthrax albofasciatus fp np, Hemipenthes sinuosa fp np, Rhynchanthrax parvicornis sn, Systoechus vulgaris sn (Gr); Conopidae: Physocephala texana sn fq, Physocephala tibialis sn, Stylogaster neglecta sn fq, Zodion obliquefasciatum sn; Tachinidae: Archytas analis sn; Muscidae: Stomoxys calcitrans sn
Nymphalidae: Chlosyne nycteis, Danaus plexippus, Speyeria cybele, Vanessa atalanta, Vanessa cardui; Pieridae: Colias philodice fq, Pieris rapae, Pontia protodice
Hesperiidae: Epargyreus clarus, Euphyes vestris, Polites peckius
Ctenuchidae: Cisseps fulvicollis
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Blephilia hirsuta
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N1 - Critically Imperiled
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Hairy wood mint is a perennial plant that is normally 30 to 120 centimetres (12 to 47 in) tall. The central stem is covered with long white hairs and ends in several whorls of flowers.
The flowers can be either light blue, pale purple or white with purple spots. Each flower is 1 cm long with light green sepals, two main 'lips', two visible stamens, and a style that is divided at its tip. Hairy Wood mint has a very short growing period in which it only blooms in the summer for roughly a month and a half.
Arranged oppositely along the stem, the leaves of hairy wood mint are long but thin, becoming wider near the base of the leaf. The petioles are roughly 1 to 3 cm and are covered with little hairs. Out of all the plants in this genus, Blephilia hirsuta has the largest leaves. This plant has a taproot type of root system.
The German-American botanist Frederick Pursh described the hairy wood mint as Monarda hirsuta in his 1814 work Flora americae septentrionalis, before George Bentham gave it its current binomial name. The species name hirsuta is Latin for "hairy".
Distribution and habitat
In Canada, hairy wood mint can be found in southern Quebec and Ontario. It is common throughout the eastern United States, including Connecticut, Indiana, West Virginia, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Hairy wood mint prefers rich moist soil in hardwood forests, along streams and rivers, in forest openings and thickets underlain by limestone, and is occasionally found near wetlands. Hairy wood mint likes partial sun or light shade. Forests with infrequent, low-intensity disturbances (i.e., gap dynamics) are ideal.
Importance to humans
Hairy wood mint is not generally used as food by humans, but it is often planted in gardens for its beauty and pleasant aroma; when the leaves are crushed or damaged they give off a minty scent. It may, however, have some beneficial medicinal properties, given that a related species (Blephilia ciliata) was used by the Cherokee as a poultice to treat headaches.
Many different types of bees (e.g., honeybees, mason bees, and miner bees), flies (e.g., bee-flies and syrphids), and butterflies (e.g., skippers) pollinate the flowers of hairy wood mint. Many of these pollinators pollinate the hairy wood mint because they get a nectar reward, although some are after the pollen itself. Herbivorous mammals are unlikely to eat the leaves because of their strong aroma.
Over most of its range Blephilia hirsuta is a secure species, but in Connecticut it is listed as a species of 'special concern', in Vermont it is 'threatened', and in Massachusetts Hairy wood mint is an endangered species. Unfortunately, the exact needs for conservation management are not known.
- USDA, Germplasm Resources Information Network. "Taxon: Blephilia hirsuta (Pursh) Benth.". USDA. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- USDA, Natural resources conservation service. "Plants Profile for Blephilia hirsuta". USDA. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- Hilty, John. "Illinois Wildflowers: Hairy Wood Mint". John Hilty. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
- Simmers, R.W.; Kral, R.W. (1992). "A new species of Blephilia (Lamiaceae) from Northern Alabama". Rhodora 94: 1–14.
- Bentham, George (1836). Labiatarum genera et species: or, A description of the genera and species of plants of the order labiatae; with their general history, characters, affinities, and geographical distribution. London: James Ridgway and Sons. p. 320.
- Hamel and Chiltoskey, Paul B., and Mary U. (1975). Cherokee Plants and Their Uses - A 400 Year History. Sylva, N.C.: Herald Publishing Co. p. 45.
- Nature Serve Explorer. "Comprehensive Report Species - Blephilia hirsuta". Nature Serve. Retrieved 9 December 2011.