Common Motherwort

Common Motherwort
Common Motherwort. Leonurus cardiaca.
Lamiaceae, the mint family.

Plant: Tall, upright, mostly unbranching plant, to about 3', with square stem, opposite leaves, and axillary clusters of hairy pink to lavender flowers. Perennial.
Flowers: Pink, bilateral, about 1/2" long, with hairy upper lips, in tight axillary clusters, which form an interrupted, leafy spike. One of the typical mint-family patterns. Blooms have five sharply pointed sepals surrounding the two-lipped corolla.
Leaves: Opposite, petioled, 2"-4" long, usually 3-lobed and toothed, with the lobes more pronounced on the lower leaves. Overall outline tends towards ovate.
Fruit: A four-parted fruit surrounded by the dried sepals.
Blooming: June -September
Habitat: Waste areas, clearings, roadsides.

Comments: Introduced from central Asia, this plant has a long history in herbal medicine. The common name refers to its traditional use in treating menstrual disorders. The specific name cardiaca refers to its use as a cardiac tonic.

Where to find it: By the slough along the entrance road.