Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This is an unbranched native perennial plant about 1-2' tall. Side stems may develop from upper leaf axils if the central stem is damaged. This stout central stem is 4-angled and it is covered with short white hairs that are usually appressed. The opposite leaves are up to 3½" long and 1½" across. They are broadly oblong to lanceolate in shape, and have smooth, slightly ciliate margins. The lower leaves have short stout petioles, while the upper leaves are sessile. They have deep pinnate venation and are covered with a white pubescence. The upper half of the central stem is perforated by whorled clusters of flowers. Each cluster of flowers is about 2-3" across and in the shape of a flattened sphere, with the flowers arranged in circular rows. The flowers are white, light pink, or lavender, and individually slightly less than ½" long. There are two prominent lips, with small purple spots on the lower one, and fine hairs in the back. The blooming period occurs during early summer and lasts about a month. Neither the flowers nor the leaves have a noticeable scent. The root system consists of a taproot, which forms offshoots occasionally by means of short rhizomes. The seeds are quite small, and distributed by the wind to some extent. Cultivation
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Comments

This plant can be easily confused with some of the weedier Eurasian mints, but should not be destroyed because it is not particularly common in Illinois. Notwithstanding its common name, Downy Wood Mint occurs in open areas more often than woodlands, unlike other members of the genus, such as Blephilia hirsuta (Hairy Wood Mint). The stems of the latter species have long spreading hairs, while the stems of Downy Wood Mint usually have short appressed hairs. Other common names for Blephilia ciliata are 'Ohio Horsemint' and 'Pagoda Plant.' Return
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Range and Habitat in Illinois

Downy Wood Mint occurs occasionally in scattered counties in Illinois – it has been reported most often from counties in the NE and west-central areas of the state (see Distribution Map). Habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, dolomite prairies, thickets, savannas, limestone bluffs, and limestone glades.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Localities documented in Tropicos sources

Blephilia ciliata (L.) Benth.:
China (Asia)
United States (North America)

Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Downy Wood Mint occurs occasionally in scattered counties in Illinois – it has been reported most often from counties in the NE and west-central areas of the state (see Distribution Map). Habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, dolomite prairies, thickets, savannas, limestone bluffs, and limestone glades.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Downy Wood Mint in Illinois

Blephilia ciliata (Downy Wood Mint)
(Also called Ohio Horsemint & Pagoda Plant; most bees collect pollen or suck nectar; other insects suck nectar, with exceptions noted below; most observations are from Robertson, otherwise observations are by LaBerge and Conger as noted below)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera sn fq; Apidae (Bombini): Bombus auricomus sn cp, Bombus fervida sn/cp (Cng), Bombus griseocallis sn, Bombus impatiens sn, Bombus pensylvanica sn cp fq, Bombus vagans sn, Psithyrus variabilis sn; Anthophoridae (Anthophorini): Anthophora abrupta sn, Anthophora terminalis sn cp; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp fq; Anthophoridae (Eucerini): Melissodes comptoides (LB), Synhalonia rosae sn, Synhalonia speciosa sn cp; Anthophoridae (Xylocopini): Xylocopa virginica sn/cp (Cng); Megachilidae (Coelioxini): Coelioxys sayi sn; Megachilidae (Megachilini): Megachile brevis brevis sn cp, Megachile latimanus sn (Rb, Cng), Megachile mendica sn cp fq, Megachile montivaga sn fq, Megachile petulans sn cp, Megachile pugnatus sn; Megachilidae (Osmiini): Hoplitis cylindricus sn, Hoplitis pilosifrons sn cp, Osmia conjuncta sn, Osmia distincta sn; Megachilidae (Trypetini): Heriades leavitti sn cp fq, Heriades variolosa variolosa sn cp fq

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Agapostemon sericea sn/cp (Cng), Agapostemon splendens sn/cp (Cng), Agapostemon virescens sn cp fq, Augochlorella aurata sn cp fq, Augochloropsis metallica metallica cp, Halictus confusus sn cp, Halictus ligatus sn, Halictus parallelus sn cp, Lasioglossum coriaceus cp, Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp, Lasioglossum pectoralis sn, Lasioglossum pilosus pilosus sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn fq, Lasioglossum zephyrus sn cp; Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis cp np, Hylaeus mesillae cp np; Andrenidae (Andreninae): Andrena crataegi sn, Andrena geranii sn cp; Andrenidae (Panurginae): Calliopsis andreniformis sn

Wasps
Sphecidae (Bembicinae): Microbembex monodonta sn (Cng); Sphecidae (Sphecinae): Ammophila nigricans sn, Ammophila pictipennis sn, Ammophila procera sn fq, Prionyx atrata sn; Vespidae (Eumeninae): Euodynerus foraminatus sn (Cng)

Flies
Syrphidae: Eristalis dimidiatus sn, Eristalis flavipes sn, Eristalis transversus sn fq, Helophilus latifrons sn, Syritta pipiens sn/fp (Cng), Volucella bombylans fp; Empidae: Empis clausa sn; Bombyliidae: Anthrax oedipus fp np, Bombylius atriceps sn fq, Rhynchanthrax parvicornis sn, Toxophora amphitea sn; Conopidae: Physocephala tibialis sn; Tachinidae: Archytas aterrima sn, Epigrimyia polita sn

Butterflies
Nymphalidae: Chlosyne nycteis sn, Speyeria cybele sn; Pieridae: Colias philodice sn, Pieris rapae sn (Rb, Cng), Pontia protodice sn; Papilionidae: Papilio glaucus sn, Papilio marcellus sn

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Achalarus lyciades sn, Epargyreus clarus sn, Polites origenes sn, Polites themistocles sn, Pompeius verna sn, Staphylus hayhurstii sn, Thorybes pylades sn

Beetles
Scarabaeidae (Cetonniae): Trichiotinus piger sn fp np

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Faunal Associations

The flowers attract long-tongued and short-tongued bees, bee flies, Syrphid flies, butterflies, and skippers. The numerous bee visitors include honeybees, bumblebees, Anthophorine bees, little carpenter bees, leaf-cutting bees, Halictine bees, masked bees, and others. The small seeds are unlikely to be of much interest to birds, nor is the foliage an attractive source of food to mammalian herbivores. Photographic Location
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Blephilia ciliata

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


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Blephilia ciliata

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

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N1 - Critically Imperiled

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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Wikipedia

Blephilia ciliata

Blephilia ciliata is an herbaceous perennial of the mint family Lamiaceae native to eastern North America. It is commonly called downy wood mint. Other common names include downy pagoda plant, sunny woodmint and Ohio horsemint.[1]

Carl Linnaeus described the downy wood mint as Monarda ciliata, before George Bentham gave it its current binomial name.[2]

Blephilia ciliata grows as a perennial herb reaching 40 to 80 cm (16-32 in) high.[3]

It was traditionally used by the Cherokee to make a poultice to treat headaches. [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (19 February 2009). "Blephilia ciliata (Downy Pagoda Plant)". University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  2. ^ 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. 319. 
  3. ^ Miller, James Howard; Miller, Karl V. (2005). Forest plants of the Southeast and their wildlife uses. University of Georgia Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-8203-2748-4. 
  4. ^ 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. 
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