American lopseed

(Phryma leptostachya)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

American lopseed

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

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common

Habitat

Moist. Woods, forests.

Flowering

July to August

Photo by Kirk Neslon
Flower Color

Pale purple or pink to white

 
Height

12 to 36

 

Identification

This 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.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Phrymaceae (lopseed)

 

Subfamily:

Phrymoideae

 
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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