American lopseed

(Phryma leptostachya)

Conservation Status
American lopseed
Photo by Kirk Neslon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

UPL - Obligate upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

American lopseed is a 12 to 36 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises from a somewhat fleshy, brownish root.

The stems are erect, 4-angled, jointed, and unbranched or sparingly branched. They are light green to dark purple, with a dark purple, swollen area above each node. The lower part of the stem is covered with short, soft, straight hairs, the upper portion with long, soft, straight hairs, especially at the nodes.

The leaves are opposite, egg-shaped, asymmetrical, 13 16 to 4 long, and to 2 wide. Lower leaves are abruptly narrowed at the base with the blade continuing down along both sides of the leaf stalk to form a minute wing. They are on leaf stalks that are up to 1 long. The lowest leaves on the stem are smaller and are broadly egg-shaped. The upper and lower surfaces are rough to the touch due to a sparse covering of short, straight, stiff hairs. The margins are coarsely toothed. The leaf stalks become gradually shorter as they ascend the stem. Upper leaves are on leaf stalks that are 1 16 to long. The uppermost leaves may be stalkless.

The inflorescence is a spike-like raceme at the end of the stem and branches and also from upper leaf axils. The racemes are 6 to 13¾ long. The central axis of the raceme (rachis) is dark purple and rough with firm, stiff hairs. Flowers appear on the rachis in opposite pairs. Flower buds are held erect. When in bloom the flowers are held horizontally.

Each flower is about and about ¼ wide. At the base of the flower are 3 small awl-shaped bracts. There are 4 green sepals united at the base into a 1 16 long calyx tube, then separated into 3 long, linear, purple, upper teeth and 2 much smaller lower teeth. There are 4 pale purple or pink to white petals united into a tube at the base then separated at the tip into 2 lips. The upper lip is small, straight, rounded, and notched at the tip. The lower lip is much longer, spreading, and 3-lobed. There are 2 long and 2 short pairs of stamens that do not extend beyond the corolla. The filaments are white and the anthers are pale yellow. There is a white style that does not protrude from the corolla. The stigma has 2 plate-like structures (lamellas) with sensitive inner surfaces that close together on contact with a pollinator.

After blooming the corolla drops off and the developing fruit bends downward, pressed tightly to the stalk, within the elongated, persistent calyx. The fruit is a single achene with a hooked tip.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

12 to 36

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Pale purple or pink to white

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Woods, forests.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to August

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.

 
  9/9/2013      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Lamiales (mints, plantains, olives, and allies)  
 

Family

Phrymaceae (lopseed)  
  Genus Phryma  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Phryma leptostachya var. asiatica

Phryma leptostachya var. confertifolia

Phryma media

Phryma parvifiora

Phryma pubescens

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

American lop-seed

American lopseed

lopseed

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Achene

A dry, one-chambered, single-seeded fruit, formed from a single carpel, with the seed attached to the membranous outer layer (wall) only by the seed stalk; the wall, formed entirely from the wall of the superior ovary, does not split open at maturity, but relies on decay or predation to release the contents.

 

Calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

Corolla

A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.

 

Linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

Node

The small swelling of the stem from which one or more leaves, branches, or buds originate.

 

Raceme

An unbranched, elongated inflorescence with stalked flowers. The flowers mature from the bottom up.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
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Kirk Neslon
       

Plant

  American lopseed    
       

Flowers

  American lopseed    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Plant

  American lopseed    
       

Inflorescence

  American lopseed   American lopseed
       

Leaves

  American lopseed    
       

Infructescence

  American lopseed    
       
       

 

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