Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This perennial plant is about 1-3' tall; it is usually unbranched, otherwise branching sparingly. The green or reddish central stem is four-angled and ridged; it may be hairless or slightly pubescent. This plant has a tendency to sprawl in the absence of supportive vegetation. The opposite leaves are spaced somewhat widely along the stems; they are sessile or short-petioled. The leaf blades are up to 3" long and ¾" across; they are lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, or elliptic-lanceolate in shape. The lower leaves are narrowly lobed or pinnatifid toward their bases, while the upper leaves are coarsely dentate all along their margins. The leaves are hairless, except for a few hairs along the central veins of their undersides. Dense axillary whorls of white flowers occur where pairs of middle to upper leaves join the stem. Individual flowers are about 1/8" (2-3 mm.) in length. Each flower has a white short-tubular corolla with 4 spreading lobes, a light green calyx with 5 teeth, 2 exerted stamens, and a pistil. The calyx teeth are narrowly triangular and about twice as long as they are across. The corolla is only a little longer than the teeth of the calyx. The blooming period occurs from mid-summer to fall, lasting about 2 months. Neither the foliage nor the flowers have any noticeable fragrance. Afterwards, the flowers are replaced by nutlets in groups of 4 that are shorter than the calyx. These nutlets are broad and flat at the top, becoming rounded and more narrow along 3 angles toward the bottom; they have smooth surfaces. The root system is rhizomatous, but lacks tubers. Colonies of clonal plants are often formed from the rhizomes.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native American Bugleweed is a common plant that occurs in all counties of Illinois. Habitats include wet prairies, prairie swales and sloughs, openings in floodplain and bottomland woodlands, soggy thickets, low areas along streams and ponds, fens, edges of marshes, and ditches along railroads and roadsides. American Bugleweed is found in degraded wetlands more often than other Lycopus spp.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native American Bugleweed is a common plant that occurs in all counties of Illinois. Habitats include wet prairies, prairie swales and sloughs, openings in floodplain and bottomland woodlands, soggy thickets, low areas along streams and ponds, fens, edges of marshes, and ditches along railroads and roadsides. American Bugleweed is found in degraded wetlands more often than other Lycopus spp.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Faunal Associations

A variety of insects visit the flowers, primarily for nectar, especially short-tongued bees, wasps, and flies. Other floral visitors include long-tongued bees, butterflies, skippers, and beetles. The caterpillars of Sphinx eremitus (Hermit Sphinx) feed on the foliage of this and other bugleweeds (as well as other members of the Mint family). Other insect feeders include such aphids as Kaltenbachia ulmifusa (Slippery Elm Gall Aphid), which feeds on the roots of Lycopus spp. during the summer, Hyalomyzus sensoriatus and Hyalomyzus eriobotryae, and Tiliphagus lycoposugus. Larvae of the gall flies Neolasioptera lycopi and Neolasioptera mitchellae also feed on these plants. Because the leaves of American Bugleweed are bitter-tasting, they are not often eaten by mammalian herbivores.
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Flower-Visiting Insects of Common Bugleweed in Illinois

Lycopus americanus (Common Bugleweed)
(Bees suck nectar and less often collect pollen; other insects suck nectar; one observation is from Grundel & Pavlovic as indicated below, otherwise the observations are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn fq; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus impatiens sn fq, Bombus pensylvanica sn, Psithyrus variabilis sn; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp fq; Anthophoridae (Epeolini): Triepeolus lunatus concolor sn; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes comptoides sn, Melissodes nivea sn, Melissodes rustica sn; Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys germana sn; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn, Megachile mendica sn, Megachile petulans sn

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn, Augochlorella aurata sn, Augochloropsis metallica metallica sn fq, Halictus confusus sn, Halictus ligatus sn, Halictus parallelus sn, Halictus rubicunda sn, Lasioglossum coriaceus sn, Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn cp fq; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes americana sn, Colletes latitarsis sn; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis sn, Hylaeus illinoisensis sn, Hylaeus mesillae sn; Andrenidae (Panurginae): Calliopsis andreniformis sn cp, Perdita octomaculatus sn icp

Wasps
Sphecidae (Bembicinae): Bicyrtes ventralis, Stizoides renicinctus, Stizus brevipennis fq; Sphecidae (Larrinae): Tachytes aurulenta, Tachytes distinctus; Sphecidae (Philanthinae): Eucerceris zonata fq, Philanthus gibbosus, Philanthus ventilabris; Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila nigricans fq, Ammophila pictipennis, Ammophila procera, Eremnophila aureonotata, Isodontia apicalis, Prionyx atrata, Prionyx thomae, Sceliphron caementaria, Sphex ichneumonea fq, Sphex pensylvanica; Tiphiidae: Myzinum quinquecincta fq; Scoliidae: Scolia bicincta; Sapygidae: Sapyga interrupta; Pompilidae: Anoplius lepidus, Anoplius marginatus, Ceropales bipunctata, Entypus fulvicornis fq, Poecilopompilus interrupta; Chrysididae: Hedychrum wiltii; Vespidae: Dolichovespula maculata, Polistes annularis, Polistes fuscata; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Eumenes fraterna, Euodynerus foraminatus, Parancistrocerus vagus

Flies
Empididae: Empis clausa; Bombyliidae: Exoprosopa fasciata, Exoprosopa fascipennis; Conopidae: Physocephala texana, Physoconops brachyrhynchus; Syrphidae: Eristalis arbustorum, Orthonevra nitida, Paragus bicolor, Paragus tibialis, Sphaerophoria contiqua, Syritta pipiens, Toxomerus marginatus; Tachinidae: Archytas analis fq, Archytas aterrima fq, Copecrypta ruficauda, Cylindromyia euchenor, Cylindromyia fumipennis, Deopalpus hirsutus, Distichona auriceps, Gymnoclytia immaculata, Gymnosoma fuliginosum, Hystriciella pilosa, Linnaemya comta, Plagiomima spinosula fq, Scotiptera parvicornis (Townsend, MS), Spallanzania hesperidarum fq, Tachinomyia panaetius fq, Trichopoda pennipes; Sarcophagidae: Helicobia rapax, Sarcophaga sinuata, Senotainia rubriventris; Calliphoridae: Cochliomyia macellaria, Lucilia sericata; Muscidae: Limnophora narona, Neomyia cornicina

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Limenitus archippus, Phyciodes tharos; Lycaenidae: Everes comyntas, Lycaeides melissa samuelis (GP); Pieridae: Colias philodice

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Ancyloxypha numitor, Pholisora catullus, Polites themistocles

Moths
Ctenuchidae: Cisseps fulvicollis

Beetles
Cantharidae: Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus fq

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Lycopus americanus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Lycopus americanus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is partial to full sunlight and wet to moist conditions. This plant normally grows in flood-prone areas where the soil contains loam, silt, or clay.
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Wikipedia

Lycopus americanus

Lycopus americanus, common names Water horehound or American bugleweed, is a member of the genus Lycopus.

It blooms in late summer and is found in much of North America.

Medicinal plant[edit]

It is reputed to have medicinal properties[citation needed] and has been used as a dye.

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