Phryma leptostachya L.

American Lopseed

Habitat: Rich thickets and woods. [Non-tidal rivershore (non-forested, seasonally wet); Hardwood to mixed forest (forest, upland)]

Range: Quebec to Manitoba, south to Florida and Texas.

Aids to Identification: Lopseed is a perennial herb with opposite, egg-shaped, toothed leaves (6-15cm). The small (6-8mm) flowers grow horizontally in opposite pairs from the stem and range in color from white to pale purple. The name is derived from the manner in which the flowers lay down against the stem (i.e., are reflexed) as they go to seed.

Ecological characteristics: This species is historically known to occur along wooded stream banks and in moist gullies.

Phenology: Flowers June - August.

Family: Phrymaceae

Synonyms: Phryma leptostachya L. var. confertifolia Fern.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has historically been documented from a total of 5 town(s) in the following county(ies): Kennebec, Somerset.

Reason(s) for rarity: At northern limit of range; not rare southward. Lack of current populations is likely due to a clearing of alluvial forests for agriculture.

Conservation considerations: Unknown; no current locations for this species are documented.