American Water-horehound

American Water-horehound
American Water-horeound. Lycopus americanus.
Lamiaceae, the mint family.

Plant: Slender, erect, square stems with pairs of opposite leaves, each pair oriented 90 degrees to the pair below. Stem bears small white flowers in axillary clusters. Perennial
Flowers: Small, 1/8", mainly white, bilateral, flowers with four lobes, in dense axillary clusters. Lower lobe often with small purple spots. In this species, the five sepals are elongated and sharply pointed, or bristle-tipped.
Leaves: Opposite, with each pair perpendicular to the one below, narrowly ovate, with prominent teeth, tapering towards the base and a very short stem.
Fruit: Four-seeded capsule common to all the mints.
Blooming: June-September
Habitat: Wetlands, shorelines, moist areas.

Comments: This species is one of several water-horehounds in our area. The species are all rather similar, and distinguished by technical characteristics. The plant is also known as American Bugleweed, possibly referring to the shape of the flowers. The generic name Lycopus means "wolf's foot", possibly due to imagined similarity of the deeply lobed leaves of some species to a wolf's footprint. The plant is reputed to have medicinal properties and has been used as an astringent and a sedative.

Where to find it: I have seen this plant growing along the northwest shoreline of the pond.