Motherwort - Leonurus cardiaca • (Mint family - Labiatae)

 

Motherwort - Leonurus cardiaca • (Mint family - Labiatae) The leaves, often held horizontally, are wedge-shaped at the base and have 3 long points and several lesser teeth. Small, pale lavender flowers are clustered in rosettes around the square stem in the axils of the leaves. Upper lip is furry. The several clusters together form a long, interrupted, terminal spike. 2 - 4 ft. Roadsides, waste ground.

 

 

 

 

The flowers are small but what catches the eye are the leaves which are usually held stiffly in a horizontal position. This introduced perennial with the distinctly 3-lobed leaves has been used by herb doctors as a stimulant (the species name means "for the heart") and traditionally for menstrual disorders; hence the common name referring to "mother." A dark olive-green dye was also extracted from the plant.

 

 

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