Phyla nodiflora

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Phyla nodiflora
Phyl nodi.jpg
Photo by John R. Gwaltney, Southeastern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Order: Lamiales
Family: Verbenaceae
Genus: Phyla
Species: P. nodiflora
Binomial name
Phyla nodiflora
(L.) Greene
Phyl nodi dist.jpg
Natural range of Phyla nodiflora from USDA NRCS Plants Database.

Common names: Turkey tangle fogfruit; Creeping frogfruit

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Phyla nodiflora (Linnaeus) Greene var. nodiflora; Lippia nodiflora (Linnaeus) Michaux

Variety: Phyla nodiflora (Linnaeus) Greene var. minor (Hooker) O'Leary and Mulgara


"Appressed pubescent, prostate to ascending or decumbent, perennial herbs, rooting at the nodes, obscurely to definitely 4- angled. Leaves opposite, serrate, base cuneate to attenuate; petioles to 0.5 mm long, often obscured by decurrent blade tissue. Inflorescence a bracteate head, in fruit a spike 8-15 cm long, 5-8 mm in diam., peduncles elongate, usually at alternate nodes and rarely in both axils at a node. Sepals united near base or for ½ their length, shorter than the corolla tube and the subtending bract; corolla zygomorphic, pinkish, lavender or rarely white, salverform, ca. 3 mm long, 5-lobes less than 1 mm long; stamens included, united to the corolla tube near middle at 2 levels. Fruit a schizocarp consisting of 2 mericarps. Mericarps yellowish tan, dull, orbicular to ovoid, rounded on one side and flattened on the other, 1-1.3 mm long." [1]

"Stems prostrate or decumbent, rarely more than 1 dm tall. Leaves oblanceolate, obovate or elliptic, 1-3 cm long, 0.3-2 cm wide, acute, base cuneate to attenuate. Peduncles 3-10 cm long, usually 2.5X or more as long as subtending leaves." [1]


It is distributed throughout the United States, and can also be found in warmer parts of Asia, Africa, throughout India and Srilanka. [2]



In the Coastal Plain in Florida, P. nodiflora has been observed growing in roadside hydric seepage bogs and exposed limerock. [3] Habitats are wet and moist with well-drained to poorly drained, sandy, limestone or organic soils without humus.[4] Associated species include Bidens, Polygonum, Cyperus and Ludwigia. [3]


P. nodiflora has been observed flowering from April to July and in October with peak inflorescence in May.[3][5] It has been observed fruiting in October.[3] Flowers are hermaphroditic.[6]


The following Hymenoptera families and species were observed visiting flowers of Phyla nodiflora at Archbold Biological Station: [7]

Apidae: Apis mellifera

Halictidae: Augochloropsis metallica, Halictus poeyi, Lasioglossum lepidii

Megachilidae: Anthidium maculifrons, Coelioxys mexicana, C. texana, Megachile brevis pseudobrevis, M. mendica

Sphecidae: Ammophila urnaria, Bicyrtes insidiatrix, Prionyx thomae

Use by animals

It is the larval host plant for the following butterflies: common buckeye (Junoinia coenia), phaon cresent (Phyciodes phaon) and white peacock (Anartia jatrophae). It is the nectar plant for the following butterflies: barred yellow (Eurema daira), ceranus blue (Hemiargus ceraunus), field skipper (Atalopedes campestris), gray hairstreak (Strymon melinus), little metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis), Miami blue (Hemiargus thomasi), Palatka skipper (Euphytes pilatka), phaon crescent (Phyciodes phaon), queen (Danaus gilippus), swarthy skipper (Nastra lherminier), tropical checkered-skipper (Pyrgus oileus).[4]

Conservation and management

Cultivation and restoration

It can be used to treat hookworm. It is also a antibacterial, deobstruent, anodyne, parasiticide, and a diuretic.[6]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Radford, Albert E., Harry E. Ahles, and C. Ritchie Bell. Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. 1964, 1968. The University of North Carolina Press. 892-3. Print.
  2. Chaudhary, B. A., M. Jabeen, et al. (2016). "PHYLA NODIFLORA (VERBENACEAE): A REVIEW." 2016 2(1): 6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Florida State University Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium database. URL: Last accessed: October 2015. Collectors: Loran C. Anderson, Robert K. Godfrey, Karen MacClendon, R.A. Norris. States and Counties: Florida: Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Holmes, Leon, Liberty, Monroe, Taylor. Compiled by Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.
  4. 4.0 4.1 [[1]] Accessed: February 20, 2016
  5. Nelson, G. PanFlora: Plant data for the eastern United States with emphasis on the Southeastern Coastal Plains, Florida, and the Florida Panhandle. Accessed: 12 DEC 2016
  6. 6.0 6.1 [[2]]Accessed: February 20, 2016
  7. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.