Bugleweed

Lycopus virginicus L.

Other common names: Buglewort, sweet bugleweed, American water horohound, carpenter's herb, green archangel, gypsyweed, Paul's betony, wood betony, wolf foot, purple archangel, water bugle, gypsywort, gypsy herb, Virginia horehound.

Habitat and range: Bugleweed is a native herb frequenting wet, shady places from Canada to Florida, Missouri, and Nebraska.

Description: This perennial herb of the mint family (Menthacese) has long, threadlike runners and a bluntly 4-angled, smooth, slender, erect or ascending stem from 6 inches to 2 feet in height. The leaves are dark green or of a purplish tinge, about 2 inches in length, long pointed at the apex and narrowed toward the base, the upper portion of the margin being toothed. The small, tubular, bell-shaped, 4-lobed flowers are purplish and are produced from about. July to September They are borne in dense clusters in the axils of the leaves and are followed by 3-sided nutlets.

Collection, prices, and uses: The entire herb, which was official from 1830 to 1880, should be gathered during the flowering period. It brings about 3 to 4 cents a pound.

The plant has a rather pleasant, mintlike odor, but the taste is bitter and disagreeable. It has sedative, tonic, and astringent properties.


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