Saturday, November 29, 2014

Virginia Water Horehound

Virgina Water Horehound
Lycopus virginicus
Here's the problem. This plant looks mostly like Lycopus virginicus, but it didn't seem to match exactly, so I posted it on IN-PLANTS and learned that it commonly interbreeds with Lycopus uniflorus (Northern Bugleweed), creating a hybrid called Lycopus x sherardii. The only way to distinguish them for sure is to literally dig up the plant and look for tubers on the root! The hybrid has tubers, as does Lycopus uniflorus whereas Lycopus virginicus does not.

I unwittingly did not dig up the plant to check the tubers. From now on, I'll photograph every part of the plant, even the roots!

Botanists love this stuff, but the rest of us can just call it Horehound or Bugleweed or whatever we want and just leave it at that.

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