Monographs Details: Lippia nodiflora (L.) Michx.
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - An herbaceous, nearly prostrate, or trailing plant, with small, stalked, dense clusters of small, purple or white flowers, growing in fields, thickets, and on hillsides at lower elevations in Porto Rico, most plentiful in damp or moist places. It has very wide geographic distribution in tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate regions of America, ranging north to Bermuda, and to South Carolina, in the West Indies south to Martinqique, and also inhabits tropical and warm-temperate parts of the Old World; the original place of development can not be determined; we regard it as indigenous in Porto Rico.
Lippia (named by Linnaeus in honor of Auguste Lippi, a French naturalist, who lived from 1678 to 1703), consists of perhaps as many as 100 species of perennial herbs, and shrubs, most numerous in tropical America. They have opposite (rarely alternate) leaves, and small, bracted flowers in heads or spikes. The calyx has from 2 to 4 teeth or lobes; the corolla has a cylindric tube and an oblique, 4-cleft, somewhat 2-lipped limb; there are 4 stamens, in 2 pairs; the 2-celled ovary has but 1 ovule in each cell, the style is short, the stigma oblique, or recurved. The little, dry fruits separate into 2 nutlets when mature.
Lippia nodiflora (flowering at the nodes of the stem) is minutely hairy, slender, branched, from 0.3 to about 0.9 meters long, prostrate, or the branches ascending. The leaves are broader above the middle than below, inconspicuously veined, rather firm in texture, toothed toward the usually blunt apex, from 1 to 6 centimeters long, the base wedge-shaped, their stalks from 2 to 8 millimeters long. The stalks of the flower-clusters are mostly much longer than the leaves; the clusters become from 1 to 2.5 centimeters long, dense and cylindric, the flowers little longer than the bracts.
Four other species of Lippia occur in the Porto Rico Flora.
Verbena nodiflora Linnaeus, Species Plantarum 20. 1753.
Lippia nodiflora Michaux, Flora Boreali Americana 2: 15. 1803.
Phyla nodiflora Greene, Pittonia 4: 46. 1899.