Lycopus

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For the spider genus Lycopus, see Thomisidae.
Gypsywort
Bugleweed
Illustration Lycopus europaeus0.jpg
Lycopus europaeus[1]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Lycopus
L.
Synonyms[2]

Lycopus (Gypsywort or Bugleweed) is a genus in the family Lamiaceae. They are all herbaceous plants native to Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America.[2] The species are most often found in wetlands, damp meadows, and stream banks. Some of the wetland species have become endangered.[3]

Appearance[edit]

The genus includes only perennial species; they spread by both seeds and stems rooting as they grow along the ground. Small white flowers bloom in late summer on leaf axials. Leaves are bright green, pointed, lobed, and like all mints occur in opposite pairs. Some species start with curled purple leaves that unfurl to a bright green coloration. The species in this genus vary in size, but generally grow to about 3–4 feet.[4]

Ethnobotanical history[edit]

The plant's juice yields black dye, supposedly used by the Roma to tan their skin to mimic Egyptians in Europe, and hence the common name of Gypsywort for Lycopus europaeus. Apothecaries and herbalists use the leaves, stems, and flowers for their astringent and sedative qualities as well as for anxiety, tuberculosis, and palpitations. Some species of the herb also may have narcotic and contraceptive effects.[4] Extracts may have benefits in Graves' disease.[5]

Species[2]
  1. Lycopus alissoviae Prob. - Primorye region of Russia
  2. Lycopus americanus Muhl. ex W.P.C.Barton - American bugleweed - widespread across most of United States and Canada
  3. Lycopus amplectens Raf. - eastern United States
  4. Lycopus angustifolius Elliott - southeastern United States
  5. Lycopus asper Greene - rough bugleweed - western Canada, western + central United States
  6. Lycopus australis R.Br. - Australian Gypsywort - Australia
  7. Lycopus cavaleriei H.Lév. - China, Japan, Korea, Sakhalin, Kuril Islands
  8. Lycopus charkeviczii Prob. - Primorye region of Russia
  9. Lycopus cokeri H.E.Ahles ex Sorrie - North Carolina, South Carolina
  10. Lycopus europaeus L. - Gypsywort - Europe, North Africa, northern Asia; naturalized in New Zealand and North America
  11. Lycopus exaltatus L.f. - central + eastern Europe, Siberia, Central Asia, Xinjiang, Caucasus, Western Himalayas
  12. Lycopus hirtellus Kom. - Primorye region of Russia
  13. Lycopus × intermedius Hausskn. - Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Greece (L. europaeus × L. exaltatus)
  14. Lycopus kurilensis Prob. - Kuril Islands
  15. Lycopus laurentianus Roll.-Germ. - Quebec
  16. Lycopus lucidus Turcz. ex Benth. - Traditional Chinese Medicine herb to make Lycopi rhizoma - China, Japan, Korea, Siberia, Russian Far East
  17. Lycopus rubellus Moench - central + eastern United States
  18. Lycopus × sherardii Steele - Quebec, Ontario, eastern United States
  19. Lycopus sichotensis Prob. - Primorye region of Russia
  20. Lycopus uniflorus Michx. - northern bugleweed - Canada, United States. China, Japan, Korea, Russian Far East
  21. Lycopus virginicus L. - Virginia bugleweed/water-horehound - central + eastern United States

References[edit]

  1. ^ Prof. Dr. Otto Wilhelm Thomé Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885, Gera, Germany
  2. ^ a b c Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
  3. ^ PLANTS Profile for Lycopus rubellus (taperleaf water horehound) | USDA PLANTS
  4. ^ a b Bremness, Lesley, Eyewitness Handbook: Herbs. New York: DK Publishing 1994
  5. ^ MICHAEL AUF’MKOLK, JONATHAN C. INGBAR, KEN KUBOTA, SYED M. AMIR and SIDNEY H. INGBAR, "Extracts and Auto-Oxidized Constituents of Certain Plants Inhibit the Receptor-Binding and the Biological Activity of Graves’ Immunoglobulins*, Endocrinology Vol. 116, No. 5, 1985, 1687-1693.