[Bugleweeds: The Genus Lycopus East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Northern Bugleweed

Lycopus uniflorus

Synonyms: Lycopus uniflorus var. uniflorus, Lycopus virginicus var. pauciflorus

Northern Bugle-weed: Lycopus uniflorus (Synonyms: Lycopus uniflorus var. uniflorus, Lycopus virginicus var. pauciflorus)

Northern bugleweed from Mirror Lake, opposite Interstate 84 from Rooster Rock State Park, Columbia River Gorge......August 1989.


The stems of northern bugleweed arise from 10-40 cm high. They are simple or occasionally branched. The leaves are opposite on the square (cross-section) stems. The leaves become larger on climbing the stems, or may be slightly reduced. The blades are 2-8 cm long and 0.6-3 cm wide. The petioles is very short or may not be apparent. The leaf margins are coarsely to irregularly toothed.

The inflorescence consists of small whorls of flowers in the axils of the upper stem leaves. The larger leaves often hide the flowers. The calyx is small with broad, ovate teeth with acute tips. The corolla is white or pink, and ranges from 2.5-3.5 long.


Northern bugleweed may be found in peat bogs, marshes, and along stream banks. It is primarily a plant of the mountains, but descends to near sea level west of the Cascade Mts. in the Pacific Northwest.


Northern bugleweed may be found from Alaska eastward to Newfoundland, and south to northwestern California, northern Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Arkansas, and North Carolina.

Paul Slichter