hairy wood mint

(Blephilia hirsuta var. hirsuta)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

hairy wood mint

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common

Habitat

Moist to moderately moist. Bottomland and upland forests, bluff bases, stream banks, railroads, roadsides. Partial sun to light shade. Loamy soil.

Flowering

May to August

 
Flower Color

White

 
Height

16 to 47

 
 
Identification

Hairy wood mint is native in the United States from Connecticut to Minnesota, south to Florida, northern Alabama, and Kansas, and in Quebec and Ontario, Canada. In Minnesota it is common in the driftless area in the southeast, where it is at the western extent of its native range; uncommon in the Metro area, where it is introduced; and absent in the remainder of the state. The sole record in Cook County is historical. Hairy wood mint is found in moist bottomland forests, moderately moist upland forests, at the bases of bluffs, on the banks of streams and rivers, and along railroads and roadsides. It grows under partial sun to light shade in loamy, moist to moderately moist soil.

Hairy wood mint is a 16 to 47 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on one or more aerial stems from a slender, underground, horizontal stem (rhizome) and fibrous roots.

The stems are sharply four-angled and unbranched or sparingly branched. Sometimes they develop a few ascending branches late in the growing season. They are moderately to densely covered with fine, white, long and short hairs. The long hairs are mostly spreading, 132 to 116 (1 to 2 mm) long, and denser toward the tip of the stem. The short hairs are downward curved, 164 to 132 (0.5 to 1.0 mm) long, and denser toward the base of the stem.

The leaves are opposite and narrowly to broadly egg-shaped. The main leaves are 1916 to 3 (4 to 8 cm) long and up to 1½ wide. They are on hairy, to 1316 (1 to 3 cm) long leaf stalks (petioles). They are usually broadly angled to rounded, sometimes shallowly heart-shaped at the base, and are angled or tapered to a sharp point at the tip. The upper surface may be hairless or sparsely covered with short fine hairs, rarely also with scattered longer hairs. The lower surface is sparsely to moderately covered with short fine hairs, sometimes also with longer hairs along the veins. The margins are finely toothed. There is often a pair of much smaller leaves rising from the point where the petiole attaches to the stem (axil).

The inflorescence is a spike of 1 to 5 densely crowded, noticeably separated, head-like clusters of small flowers at the end of the stem and branches, and single similar clusters in the upper leaf axils. Each cluster in the terminal spike is subtended by a pair of sometimes inconspicuous modified leaves (bracts). Each flower is subtended by a pair of ¼ to (6 to 10 mm) long, lance-shaped to narrowly egg-shaped bractlets.

The flowers are 516 to ½ (8 to 12 mm) long. There are 5 outer floral leaves (sepals), 5 petals, 2 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals are green and to ¼ (4 to 7 mm) long. They are fused at the base into a short tube then separated into 5 narrowly triangular to nearly linear lobes. The upper lobes are longer than the lower lobes. The bractlets and sepals have long spreading hairs on the margins. The petals are white and may be slightly tinged with blue. They are united at the base into a floral tube then separated into 2 lips. The outer surface is moderately to densely hairy. The upper lip is spreading or slightly curved backwards and has 2 shallow lobes. The lower lip is straight or slightly spreading, has 3 lobes, and has numerous small purple spots. The stamens protrude from the corolla at maturity. The style has 2 lobes at the tip and also protrudes from the corolla at maturity.

The fruit (schizocarp) develops from the dried ovary and splits into 4 egg-shaped, tan to reddish-brown nutlets.

 
Similar
Species

 

 
Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.

 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Lamiaceae (mint)

 

Subfamily:

Nepetoideae

 

Tribe:

Mentheae

 

Subtribe:

Menthinae

 

Genus:

Blephilia

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

hairy pagoda-plant

hairy wood mint

hairy woodmint

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where a branch, stem, leaf stalk, or vein diverges.

 

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk or flower cluster.

 

Bractlet

A small, often secondary bract within an inflorescence; a bract that is borne on a petiole instead of subtending it; bracteole.

 

Linear

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

 

Petiole

The stalk of a leaf blade or compound leaf that attaches the leaf blade to the stem.

 

Rhizome

A horizontal, usually underground stem. It serves as a reproductive structure, producing roots below and shoots above at the nodes.

 

Schizocarp

A dry fruit formed from a compound ovary that splits into two or more parts (mericarps) at maturity.

 

Sepal

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

       
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Inflorescence

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Leaves

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Hairy Wood Mint, Blephilia hirsuta

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Created: 2/21/2020

Last Updated:

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