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Phryma leptostachya (American lopseed)
Smith, R.W.

Phryma leptostachya

Phryma leptostachya L.

American Lopseed, Lopseed

Verbenaceae (Verbena Family)

Synonym(s): Phryma leptostachya var. confertifolia

USDA Symbol: PHLE5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Pairs of small, white or pinkish-lavender flowers in slender, elongated, spike-like clusters along top of stem and its diverging branches. This species also occurs in Asia. The downward-hanging fruit, which accounts for the common name, makes the plant easily recognizable. Three of the calyx teeth are hooked at the tip, which may assist in dispersal by attachment to animals.

This species is sometimes placed in its own family, the Phrymaceae.


From the Image Gallery

19 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Achene
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV , WY
Canada: MB , NB , ON , QC
Native Distribution: Manitoba east to New Brunswick, south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to North Dakota.
Native Habitat: Moist woods and thickets.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist


Warning: Berries and other plant parts are poisonous if eaten. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary i
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Pineywoods Native Plant Center - Nacogdoches, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1082 Collected 2007-08-17 in Harrison County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank

Web Reference

Webref 57 - Atlas of Florida Plants (2020) Institute for Systematic Botany
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Phryma leptostachya in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Phryma leptostachya in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Phryma leptostachya


Record Modified: 2023-05-25
Research By: TWC Staff

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