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Lycopus europaeus

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Lamiaceae
Subfamilia: Nepetoideae
Tribus: Mentheae
Subtribus: Lycopinae
Genus: Lycopus
Species: Lycopus europaeus

Lycopus europaeus L., 1753

Lycopus europaeus Walter = Lycopus americanus Muhl. ex W.P.C.Barton


Lycopus riparius Salisb., Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton: 72 (1796), nom. superfl.
Lycopus palustris Burm.f., Fl. Indica, Prodr. Fl. Cap.: 1 (1768).
Lycopus alboroseus Gilib., Fl. Lit. Inch. 1: 71 (1782), opus utique oppr.
Lycopus niger Gueldenst., Reis. Russland 2: 65 (1791).
Lycopus aquaticus Moench, Methodus: 370 (1794).
Lycopus europaeus var. incanus DC. in Lamarck & Candolle, Fl. Franç., éd. 3, 3: 505 (1805).
Lycopus vulgaris Pers., Syn. Pl. 1: 24 (1805).
Lycopus riparius var. incisus Gray, Nat. Arr. Brit. Pl. 2: 360 (1821 publ. 1822).
Lycopus laciniatus Marz.-Penc. ex Pollini, Fl. Veron. 1: 27 (1822).
Lycopus europaeus var. elatior Hagenb. in J.F.A.Gaudin, Fl. Helv. 1: 51 (1828).
Lycopus europaeus var. hirsutus Gand., Fl. Helv.: 51 (1828).
Lycopus europaeus var. subpinnatifidus Lej. & Courtois, Comp. Fl. Belg. 1: 19 (1828).
Lycopus europaeus var. procerior Klett & Richt., Fl. Leipzig: 25 (1830).
Lycopus albus Mazziari, Ionios Antologia 2: 446 (1834).
Lycopus europaeus var. pubescens Benth. in Candolle, Prodr. 12: 178 (1848).
Lycopus decrescens K.Koch, Linnaea 21: 646 (1849).
Lycopus europaeus var. stolonifer K.Koch, Linnaea 21: 647 (1849).
Lycopus mollis A.Kern., Oesterr. Bot. Z. 16: 371 (1866).
Lycopus menthifolius Mabille, Rech. Pl. Corse 1: 31 (1867).
Lycopus europaeus var. menthifolius (Mabille) Nyman, Consp. Fl. Eur.: 597 (1881).
Lycopus europaeus f. glabrescens Schmidely, Bull. Soc. Bot. Genève 3: 128 (1884).
Lycopus europaeus f. velutina Schmidely, Bull. Soc. Bot. Genève 3: 128 (1884).
Lycopus europaeus var. glabrescens (Schmidely) Briq., Lab. Alp. Mar.: 116 (1891).
Lycopus europaeus var. mollis (A.Kern.) Briq., Lab. Alp. Mar.: 117 (1891).
Lycopus europaeus var. trichophora Briq., Lab. Alp. Mar.: 117 (1891).
Lycopus europaeus f. glabrescens Bolzon, Bull. Soc. Bot. Ital. 1903: 36 (1903), nom. illeg.
Lycopus europaeus f. lanuginosus Bolzon, Bull. Soc. Bot. Ital. 1903: 36 (1903).
Lycopus solanifolius Lojac., Fl. Sicul. 2(2): 194 (1907).
Lycopus europaeus proles menthifolius (Mabille) Rouy in G.Rouy & J.Foucaud, Fl. France 11: 393 (1909).
Lycopus souliei Sennen, Bol. Soc. Aragonesa Ci. Nat. 15: 250 (1916).
Lycopus europaeus subsp. mollis (A.Kern.) Murr, Neue Übers. Bl.-Pfl. Vorarlberg: 258 (1923).
Lycopus europaeus f. pusillus Montell, Memoranda Soc. Fauna Fl. Fenn. 22: 192 (1946).
Lycopus europaeus subsp. menthifolius (Mabille) Skalický, Sborn. Nár. Mus. v Praze, Rada B, Prír. Vedy 24B: 206 (1968).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Eurasia
Regional: Central Asia
Afghanistan, Altay, Buryatiya, China North-Central, Irkutsk, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Krasnoyarsk, Pakistan, Tadzhikistan, Tuva, Uzbekistan, West Himalaya, West Siberia, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Turkmenistan
Regional: Eastern Europe
Albania, Baltic States, Belarus, Central European Rus, East Aegean Is., East European Russia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kriti, Krym, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Norway, Romania, Poland, Sicilia, South European Russi, Turkey-in-Europe, Ukraine, Yugoslavia
Regional: Central Europe
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Corse, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland
Regional: Western Asia
Iran, Iraq, Lebanon-Syria, North Caucasus, Palestine, Transcaucasus, Turkey
Regional: Western Europe
Portugal, France, Sardegna, Spain
Continental: Africa
Regional: Northern Africa
Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia
Regional: Macaronesia
Introduced into:
Alabama, British Columbia, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, New Zealand North, North Carolina, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Québec, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 21. Reference page.

Additional references

Govaerts, R.H.A. 2003. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families Database in ACCESS: 1-216203. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. [unavailable for the public] Reference page.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2022. Lycopus europaeus in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Apr 13. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2022. Lycopus europaeus. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2022. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2022 Apr 13. Reference page. 2022. Lycopus europaeus. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 13 Apr 2022.
International Plant Names Index. 2022. Lycopus europaeus. Published online. Accessed: Apr 13 2022.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Lycopus europaeus in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: Avropa ləçəkotu, Licopus europaeus
català: Peu de llop
čeština: karbinec evropský
Cymraeg: Llysiau'r sipsiwn
dansk: Sværtevæld
Deutsch: Ufer-Wolfstrapp
English: gypsywort, gipsywort, bugleweed, European bugleweed, water horehound
español: menta de lobo, hierba de lobo, licopo europeo, lícopus, manrrubio de agua, marroyo de agua, marroyo de lobo, marrubio acuático, marrubio de agua, menta de burro, menta de lobo, pata de lobo, patilobo, pie de lobo, té americano, valeriana
eesti: Harilik parkhein
فارسی: پای گرگ اروپایی
suomi: Rantayrtti, luhtarantayrtti
français: Lycope d'Europe, Lycopus Europeanus
galego: Pouta loba
hrvatski: Vučja noga
hornjoserbsce: Brjohowy dabrečk
magyar: vízi peszérce
lietuvių: Paprastoji vilkakojė
Nederlands: Wolfspoot
polski: karbieniec pospolity
português: marroio-de-água
русский: Зюзник европейский
slovenčina: karbinec európsky
svenska: Strandklo
українська: Вовконіг європейський
中文: 欧地笋

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]
Lycopus europeaus, Prague


Gypsywort 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. 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]

"The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, entry for Lycopus europaeus L." Retrieved 20 February 2015.
"Lycopus europaeus". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 20 February 2015.
"The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, entry for Lycopus europaeus Walter". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
"Gipsywort: Lycopus europaeus". NatureGate. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
Van Der Kooi, C. J.; Pen, I.; Staal, M.; Stavenga, D. G.; Elzenga, J. T. M. (2015). "Competition for pollinators and intra-communal spectral dissimilarity of flowers". Plant Biology. 18 (1): 56–62. doi:10.1111/plb.12328. PMID 25754608.
Lycopus europaeus (Lamiaceae) - Dr. Duke's Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases
Plants for a Future Database of Edible and Medicinal Plants
Henriette's Herbal
[1] List of articles from the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health
Dodoens, Rembert; Lyte, Henry (1578). A Nievve Herball;…. London: Mr Gerard Dewes, St Paul's Churchyard at the sign of the Swan. pp. 255–258. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
Dodoens, Rembert (1563). Crŭÿde boeck :... Thantwerpen: Jan vander Loe, Cammerstrate at the sign of the Scarab. pp. ccvv–ccvvi. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
Howard, Michael. Traditional Folk Remedies (Century, 1987) p.151

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