This section is from the book "A Manual Of Weeds", by Ada E. Georgia. Also available from Amazon: A Manual Of Weeds.
Native. Perennial. Propagates by seeds and by stolons.
Time of bloom: July to September. Seed-time: August to November. Range: Labrador to British Columbia, southward to Florida, Alabama, and Missouri. Habitat: Wet meadows, banks of streams; often clogs ditches.
A common weed, of which the most troublesome part is the long, thread-like, leafy, interlacing runners, reaching out in all directions from the parent, sending up new plants and making tangled mats. The plant is used in medicine and brings three or four cents a pound in the drug market. It would be some satisfaction, in clearing out a ditch, to make the weed itself pay for the labor. For this purpose the herb must be pulled entire while in full flower, and dried in the shade.
Stems six inches to two feet high, slender, obtusely four-sided, usually somewhat hairy. Leaves dark green or tinged with purple, long ovate, firm, coarsely toothed, pointed at both ends, those near the base tapering to short petioles, the upper ones sessile. Flowers in dense axillary clusters, pale purple to white, the lobes of the calyx nearly equal, the corolla-tube cylindric to funnel-form, with four flaring lobes, suggesting the reason why the plant is named Bugleweed; perfect stamens two, the posterior pair being rudimentary. Seeds four small nutlets, three-angled, longer than the calyx-lobes, in plain view when mature. (Fig. 251.)
Fig. 251. -Bugle-weed (Lycopus virginicus). X 1/4.
In fields, frequent cutting, close to the ground, while in early flower; or, better, hand-pulling, which often takes runners and all. In ditches the weed must be grubbed out or hand-pulled.