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Trichostema dichotomum

Trichostema dichotomum L.

Trichostema dichotomum L. var. puberulum Fernald & Grisc.

Trichostema pilosum Roth

Eastern Blue Curls, Forked Bluecurls, Blue Curls, Bastard Pennyroyal

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderLamialesAromatic herbs and shrubs, including lavender, lilac, olive, jasmine, ash, teak, snapdragon, sesame, psyllium, garden sage, mint, basil, and rosemary
FamilyLamiaceaeMint family
GenusTrichostema“Hairlike stamens”
SpeciesdichotomumForked in, or repeatedly dividing into, pairs

About plant names...

Blue curls are North American natives, members of the mint family. Trichostema means “hairlike stamens.”

Identification: Plants are 4-30" (10-76 cm) in height—the ones I have seen are at the low end of that range. Foliage is multiply branched and the main stems may be tinged with red. Flowers are ½-¾" (1.3-1.9 cm) long × ¼-⁵/₁₆" (6.3-8.3 mm) wide. Flowers are blue, with four upper petals about the same size, and a long lower petal that is spotted and contains white. The most unique feature of these flowers are several long, arching stamens, poking out of the top of the flower and hanging downward in front. Leaves are small (less than 1" (2.5 cm) long), hairy, entire, and lacking in teeth.

Trichostema dichotomum (Eastern Blue Curls, Forked Bluecurls, Blue Curls, Bastard Pennyroyal)

From Britton, Nathaniel Lord, and Brown, Addison, An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions, 1913, p. Vol. 3: 105.

Online References:

Trichostema dichotomum on North Carolina Wildflowers, Shrubs, & Trees, by Jeff Pippen

Trichostema dichotomum on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Trichostema dichotomum on Missouriplants.com

Trichostema dichotomum on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Trichostema dichotomum on CalPhotos

Trichostema dichotomum at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Trichostema dichotomum on Wikimedia Commons

Trichostema dichotomum on Forestry Images

Trichostema dichotomum on Nature Photography by Shirley Denton

Trichostema dichotomum (Eastern Blue Curls, Forked Bluecurls, Blue Curls, Bastard Pennyroyal)

7/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 2 × 1¾" (5.1 × 4.9 cm)

Trichostema dichotomum (Eastern Blue Curls, Forked Bluecurls, Blue Curls, Bastard Pennyroyal)

8/4/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 3½ × 3½" (9.2 × 8.6 cm)

Trichostema dichotomum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Trichostema dichotomum (Eastern Blue Curls, Forked Bluecurls, Blue Curls, Bastard Pennyroyal)

8/25/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, East Pepperell, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (16 × 10 cm)

Trichostema dichotomum (Eastern Blue Curls, Forked Bluecurls, Blue Curls, Bastard Pennyroyal)

8/2/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 4½ × 7" (12 × 17 cm)

Trichostema dichotomum (Eastern Blue Curls, Forked Bluecurls, Blue Curls, Bastard Pennyroyal)

7/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 2½ × 3½" (6.6 × 9.8 cm)

Trichostema dichotomum (Eastern Blue Curls, Forked Bluecurls, Blue Curls, Bastard Pennyroyal)

7/21/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer, MA
≈ 2½ × 3" (6.6 × 7.5 cm)

Trichostema dichotomum (Eastern Blue Curls, Forked Bluecurls, Blue Curls, Bastard Pennyroyal)

8/4/2009 · Near Nashoba Hospital, Ayer, MA
≈ 4 × 7" (10 × 16 cm)

Trichostema dichotomum (Eastern Blue Curls, Forked Bluecurls, Blue Curls, Bastard Pennyroyal)

9/16/2013 · Townsend Wildlife Management Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 5 × 4½" (13 × 11 cm)

Range:

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