Phyla nodiflora

From Coastal Plain Plants Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
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[1]

Taxonomic notes

Synonyms: Lippia nodiflora (Linnaeus) Michaux.[1]

Varieties: Phyla nodiflora (Linnaeus) Greene var. minor (Hooker) O'Leary and Mulgara; Phyla nodiflora (Linnaeus) Greene var. nodiflora.[1]


"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." [2] "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."[2]

The two varieties can be distinguished by the leaves. Var. minor leaves have an elliptic or obovate shape, an acute apex, and a densely white-strigose or canescent texture. They are 0.5-2 cm long and 0.2-1 cm wide.Var. nodiflora has obovate and spatulate leaves, an obtuse apex, and subglabrous texture or with scattered and subappressed hairs. They are 0.5-1.5 cm wide and 2-4 cm long.[1]


It is distributed throughout the United States, and can also be found in warmer parts of Asia, Africa, throughout India and Srilanka.[3]



In the Coastal Plain in Florida, P. nodiflora has been observed growing in roadside hydric seepage bogs and exposed limerock.[4] Habitats are wet and moist with well-drained to poorly drained, sandy, limestone or organic soils without humus.[5] Associated species include Bidens, Polygonum, Cyperus and Ludwigia.[4]

Phyla nodiflora is an indicator species for the Calcareous Savannas community type as described in Carr et al. (2010).[6]


P. nodiflora flowers from April to July with peak inflorescence in May.[4][7] It has been observed fruiting in October.[4] Flowers are hermaphroditic.[8]


Phyla nodiflora has been observed at the Archbold Biological Station to host bees from the Apidae family such as Apis mellifera, sweat bees from the Halictidae family such as Augochloropsis metallica, Halictus poeyi and Lasioglossum lepidii, leafcutting bees from the Megachilidae family such as Anthidium maculifrons, Coelioxys mexicana, C. texana, Megachile brevis pseudobrevis and M. mendica, and thread-waisted wasps from the Sphecidae family such as Ammophila urnaria, Bicyrtes insidiatrix and Prionyx thomae.[9] Additionally, P. nodiflora has been observed to host bees from the Apidae family such as Anthophora californica, and leafcutting bees from the Megachilidae family such as Megachile brevis, M. coquilletti, M. gentilis and M. texana.[10]

Herbivory and toxicology

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).[5]

Conservation, cultivation, and restoration

Cultural use

It can be used to treat hookworm. It is also a antibacterial, deobstruent, anodyne, parasiticide, and a diuretic.[8]

Photo Gallery

References and notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Weakley, A.S. 2015. Flora of the southern and mid-atlantic states. Working Draft of 21 May 2015. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
  2. 2.0 2.1 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.
  3. Chaudhary, B. A., M. Jabeen, et al. (2016). "PHYLA NODIFLORA (VERBENACEAE): A REVIEW." 2016 2(1): 6.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 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.
  5. 5.0 5.1 [[1]] Accessed: February 20, 2016
  6. Carr, S.C., K.M. Robertson, and R.K. Peet. 2010. A vegetation classification of fire-dependent pinelands of Florida. Castanea 75:153-189.
  7. 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
  8. 8.0 8.1 [[2]]Accessed: February 20, 2016 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "pfaf" defined multiple times with different content
  9. Deyrup, M.A. and N.D. 2015. Database of observations of Hymenoptera visitations to flowers of plants on Archbold Biological Station, Florida, USA.
  10. [3]