Hedeoma pulegioides

Hedeoma pulegioides

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Hedeoma
Species: H. pulegioides
Binomial name
Hedeoma pulegioides
(L.) Pers.

Hedeoma pulegioides (American pennyroyal, or American false pennyroyal[1]) is a species of Hedeoma native to eastern North America, from Nova Scotia and southern Ontario west to Minnesota and South Dakota, and south to northern Georgia and Arkansas.[2]

It is a low-growing, strongly aromatic herbaceous annual plant from 15–30 cm tall, with a slender erect much-branched, somewhat hairy and square stem. The leaves are small, thin, and rather narrow, with a strong mintlike odor and pungent taste. The flowers are pale blue, monoecious, produced in small clusters; it flowers from mid to late summer.[3]

Other names are mock pennyroyal, squaw mint, tickweed, stinking balm, mosquito plant, American falsepennyroyal, and American false pennyroyal.[4][3]

The name pulegioides is derived from the Latin pulegium and oides, and means "like pennyroyal".[5] Hedeoma pulegiodes is also known by the synonyms Melissa pulegioides L. (basionym), Cunila pulegioides (L.) L., and Ziziphora pulegioides (L.) Desf.[1][6]

The term "Pennyroyal" (or Pennyrile, from a dialectal pronunciation) is also used to describe a geographic province of western Kentucky, the Pennyroyal Plateau, where H. pulegioides grew in profusion sufficient to lend its name to the whole area.


See also