Labiatae (Lamiaceae) - mint family
Research Scientist and Research Institute Director (retired) and presently Honorary Research Associate, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6, Canada
Awarded the George Lawson Medal by the Canadian Botanical Association in 2006.
Awarded the Faculty of Macdonald, McGill University, Most Distinguished Alumni Award on October 18, 2014.
Read his biography "The Real Weed Man" available in print and ebook.
Ajuga reptans L., ajuga, bugle rampante
Ajuga is a perennial herb, spreading mostly by its vigorous rhizomes. It has stems up to 6 inches (15 cm.) high. Racemes have 6 to 12 blue or purple flowers. This introduced plant has been used as a ground cover, as an ornamental, and as a medicinal plant. It can escape from cultivation and become a troublesome weed locally.
Dracocephalum parviflorum Nutt., American dragonhead, dracocéphale d’Amérique
Annual to biennial, spreading by seeds; plants 1 to 3 feet (3 to 9 dm.) high; flowers irregular, blue to purple; most common in the mid-west; clover fields, gardens, native grassland, clearings, edges of woods, roadsides, and waste places; native to North America.
Galeopsis tetrahit L., hemp-nettle, ortie royale
Annual, spreading by seeds, 1 to 3 feet (3 to 9 dm.) high; flowers irregular, white to purple; throughout; gardens, pastures, barnyards, and waste places; introduced from Europe and Asia.
Glechoma hederacea L., ground-ivy, lierre terrestre
Perennial, spreading mainly by creeping stems that root at the nodes; flowering stems 3 to 10 inches ( 8 to 25 cm.) high; irregular flowers, purple-blue; throughout, but most common in the east; lawns, gardens, and waste places; introduced from Europe and Asia. Sometimes grown as a garden plant, but soon becomes a serious pest.
Leonurus cardiaca L., motherwort, agripaume cardiaque
Rhizomatous perennial 2 to 4 ft. (60 to 120 cm) tall with axillary clusters of small pink to lilac flowers in the upper axils of leaves. Introduced from Europe and Asia for its use as a herbal remedy. It has become sporadically naturalized in pastures, waste ground, disturbed sites, roadsides, and along railway lines throughout our area.
Nepeta cataria L., catnip, herbe à chat
Perennial, spreading by seeds; flowers creamy white or pinkish with pink spots; stems 1.5 to 6 feet (5 to 60 dm) heigh; throughout, but more common in the east, sometimes cultivated; gardens, pastures, hedgerows, fencerows, old fields, roadsides and disturbed areas; crushed foliage is strongly scented. Introduced from Eurasia.
Prunella vulgaris L., heal-all, brunelle commune
Perennial, semi-creeping herb, rooting at the nodes; flowers blue; throughout our area. Some populations are native whereas others are introduced. Often an aggressive weed in lawns. Also occurs in other grasslands, in waste ground, in open woods, and along roadsides.
Stachys palustris L., marsh hedge-nettle, épiaire des marais
A hexaploid perennial with subterranean stolons terminating in crisp, fusiform, whitish or whitish-yellow tubers. Stems 1 to 3 feet (3 to 9 dm.) high; flowers irregular. Introduced from Europe. Known to occur as early as August 1815 near Amherst, Maine. It is now locally common in moist habitats in southeastern Canada and in the northeastern United States. Marsh hedge-nettle tubers often penetrate potatoes growing in fields. This makes these potatoes virtually unsaleable.
Text and photos of catnip by Stephen J. Darbyshire
Click on a photo to view an enlarged image.