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AFog Fruit

AFog Fruit

Fog Fruit

This name "fogfruit" is a bit clumsy to use. For one thing, the terms fogfruit and frogfruit are almost equally recognized, and both names are a little silly since the plants' fruits have nothing to do with either fog or frogs. The name "fogfruit" is said to have appeared in print some years before "frogfruit" so I use that here. Phyla nodiflora also is known as Turkey Tangle Frogfruit, Sawtooth Fogfruit, Frogsbit, Licorice Verbena, Capeweed, Creeping Lip Plant, and many other names. But this is one case in which technical binomial names don't instantly save us, for even specialists can't agree on one name, some calling it Phyla nodiflora while others use Lippia nodiflora.

Fruit

Flowers are in a round cluster, about ¾ inches across, in a ring around a purple cone that elongates up to ¾ inch in fruit. Individual flowers are less than ¼ inch across, tubular with 4 irregular lobes, the lower lobe larger than the upper. Color ranges from white to pink to lavender; the center of each flower is usually darker than the outer petals, with 2 pair of yellow-tipped stamens and sometimes a yellow spot in the throat. The flower head sits at the end of a long stalk that arises from the leaf axils in the upper plant.Phyla lanceolata is a species of flowering plant in the verbena family known by the common names lanceleaf fogfruit, fogfruit, or frogfruit. It is native to the southern half of North America, including much of the United States except for the northwestern quadrant, and much of Mexico.

It is resident in many types of moist and wet habitat, including disturbed areas, such as irrigation ditches. It is a perennial herb growing decumbent in a matlike form with spreading, trailing stems up to half a meter long, sometimes rooting at nodes. The lance-shaped or nearly oval leaves are up to 6 centimeters long and have toothed or partially toothed edges. The inflorescence, arising on a peduncle several centimeters tall, is a spherical spike of flowers which elongates into a cylindrical form as the fruits develop. The tiny, densely packed flowers are white, sometimes tinged with blue or purple.The common name “fog-fruit” comes from an old Scottish word for moss, fog. It refers to the matted, moss-like habit of the plant. Another common name “frog-fruit” originated in what appears to be a typographical error in the 1834 book Botanical Teacher for North America. The error has persisted and is now the most commonly used name for this plant. (Source: www.minnesotaseasons.com)

 

 

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