Lycopus europaeus L.

2597 (1). L. europaeus L., Sp. Pl., 1 (1753) 21; Hayek, Prodr. Fl. Penins. Balc., 2, II (1930) 382; Ball, Fl. Eur., III (1972) 183; Exs.; Pl. Bulg. Exsicc. No 1066 — Европейска (обикновена) катушка 

Fam:   Labiatae Juss. (Lamiaceae)
Genus:   Lycopus L.
Species: Lycopus europaeus L.
English Name: Gypsywort, Bugleweed, European bugleweed and Water horehound


Perennial plants. The stem is 20 - 80 cm high, 0.3 - 0.6 cm wide, upright or upright, from the base or in the upper part branched like a broom, in the vertebrae often with vegetative shoots, naked, scattered to the dense and outspread simply fiber. Leaves 1,0 - 8,5 cm long, 0,5 - 4,5 cm wide, sitting down or with 0,3 - 0,8 cm long stems, entire, elliptical, narrowly elliptical, lance, to the base wedge-shaped narrowed, unevenly large or dentate, with a thin tuft edge and a spike at the tip of the teeth, rarely in the central feather cut, on both sides naked or scattered adherent to simply fibrous,  rib nude or dense grooves. Blossoms collected in multiflower, 2 - 4 cm be at a distance vertebrae; bracts 2 - 5 mm long, 0.5 - 1 mm wide, linear, ingeniously elongated, in the middle with lighter streak, nude or scattered to densely fibrous, grooves on the edge. The calyx 4,5 - 7,5 mm long, broadly bell-shaped, deep (up to 2/3) cut with five shares, toothed wide triangular, to the top awl-like elongated, nude or scattered to densely fibrous, on the edge scattered to densely grooves. Corolla 2,5 - 3,5 mm wide, two-sided; the tube 2 - 3 mm long, narrowly bell-like, almost cylindrical, bare to thick, simply fibrous; the shares almost the same, elongated ovoid to ovate, nude to densely simply fibrous and grooves, pale yellow to yellowish, white with red spots. Stamidia 2 or missing. Nuts 1.8 - 2.2 mm long, 0.9 - 1.5 mm wide, naked or on top short glands.

Note. The geographical variability in this species determines the presence of a large number of leaf shapes, the character of the notching, the density of sedimentation, etc., clearly associated with gradual transitions without taxonomic value.

From  „Флора на Н. Р. България”, том IX, БАН, София, (1989)

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Lycopus europaeus, common names gypsywort, gipsywort, bugleweed, European bugleweed and water horehound, is a perennial plant in the genus Lycopus, native to Europe and Asia, and naturalized elsewhere.[2] Another species, Lycopus americanus has also been erroneously called L. europaeus.[3]


Gipsywort is a rather straggly perennial plant with slender underground runners and grows to a height of about 20 to 80 cm (8 to 31 in). The stalkless or short-stalked leaves are in opposite pairs. The leaf blades are hairy, narrowly lanceolate-ovate, sometimes pinnately-lobed, and with large teeth on the margin. The inflorescence forms a terminal spike and is composed of dense whorls of white or pale pink flowers. The calyx has five lobes and the corolla forms a two-lipped flower about 4 mm (0.16 in) long with a fused tube. The upper lip of each flower is slightly convex with a notched tip and the lower lip is three-lobed, the central lobe being the largest and bearing a red "nectar mark" to attract pollinating insects. There are two stamens, the gynoecium has two fused carpels and the fruit is a four-chambered schizocarp.[4] The flowers are visited by many types of insects, and can be characterized by a generalized pollination syndrome.[5]


Gypsywort grows primarily in wetland areas. It grows along the borders of lakes, ponds and streams as well as in canals and marshes. Its carpels float which may aid dispersal of the plant and its rhizomeous roots also allow the plant to spread.[4] It is in flower from June to September, and produces seeds from August to October. Etymology and folklore.

It is reputed to have medicinal qualities[2][6][7][8] and has been used by various peoples as an astringent, cosmetic, douche, narcotic and refrigerant.[citation needed] Several research studies have been undertaken on the properties of this plant.[vague][9]
Rembert Dodoens wrote of the names of the plant in the 1578 English translation[10] of his original book published in 1563, as the fourth among the group of horehounds “…: in Brabant water Andoren, and of some Egyptenaers cruyt, that is to say, the Egyptians herbe, bycause of the Rogues and runnegates which call themselves Egyptians, do colour themselves blacke with this herbe.” The Brabant original seems to suggest it was used by tramps/hobos who were pretending to be Romany people by darkening their skin.[11] He also wrote that water horehound was not used in medicine.[10] Through time it often came to be said that name gypsywort comes from the belief that Romani people would stain their skin with the juice of the plant, although Howard (1987) states that they used it to dye their linen.[7][8][12]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Flowering Time: Blooms: VII - VIII, fruitful: VIII - IX.

Distribution in Bulgaria: Growing in wet places along streams, rivers and marshes, wet and salted soils in the plains and mountains. Spreading from sea level up to 1,000 m altitude. (Conspectus of the Bulgarian Vascular Flora) = conspectus&gs_l= Zlc.

Distribution: Europe (excluding the northernmost parts), Southwest and Central Asia, Japan-China region.

Conservation status and threats: not protected species in Bulgaria by the Biodiversity Law. - Biological Diversity Act -

Medical plant: yes, it is medical plant. - Medicinal Plants Act -

References: „Флора на Н. Р. България”, том IX, БАН, София, (1989), Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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