Wild Flowers of Pittsburgh

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)

Easily distinguished from anything similar by the foamy appearance of the flowers, which have puffy tufts of hair on their upper lips. “Motherwort” is so named because it was used by herbalists for what have traditionally been called “female difficulties.” This plant was part of a large stand at the edge of a dense thicket in Beechview, whre it was blooming in the middle of July.

Gray describes the genus and the species:

LEONÙRUS L. MOTHERWORT. Calyx 5-nerved, with 5 nearly equal teeth. Upper lip of the corolla oblong and entire, somewhat arched; the lower spreading, 3-lobed, its middle lobe larger, narrowly oblong-obovate, entire, the lateral ones oblong. — Upright herbs, with cut-lobed leaves, and close whorls of flowers in their axils; in summer. (Name from leon, a lion, and oura, tail, i.e. Lion’s-tail.)

L. cardìaca L. (COMMON M.) Tall perennial; leaves long-petioled, tbe lower rounded, palmately lobed, the floral wedge-shaped at base, subentire or 3-clefl, the lobes lanceolate; upper lip of the pale purple corolla bearded. — Waste places, around dwellings. (Nat. from Eu.)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s