Phyla lanceolata-Lanceleaf Fogfruit

Phyla lanceolata (Lanceleaf Fogfruit) on 7-29-19, #608-32.

Lanceleaf Fogfruit, Lanceleaf Frogfruit

Phyla lanceolata

FY-luh  lan-see-oh-LAY-tuh

Synonyms of Phyla lanceolataLippia lanceolata Michx., Lippia lanceolata var. recognita Fernald & Griscom, Lippia nodiflora var. acutifolia Kuntze, Lippia nodiflora var. lanceolata (Michx.) Alph.Wood, Phyla lanceolata f. ahlesii Moldenke, Phyla lanceolata var. recognita (Fernald & Griscom) Soper, Phyla nodiflora var. texensis Moldenke, Verbena scabra Muhl. ex Spreng., Zappania lanceolata (Michx.) Juss.

Phyla lanceolata (Michx.) Greene is the correct and accepted scientific name for the Lanceleaf Fogfruit. It was named and described as such by Edward Lee Greene in Pittonia in 1899. It was first named Lippia lanceolata by André Michaux and described in Flora Boreali-Americana in 1803. 

The genus, Phyla Lour., was named and described by João de Loureiro in Flora Cochinchinensis in 1790. 

Plants of the World Online lists 5 species in the Phyla genus (as of 3-30-20 when I am updating this page). It is a member of the Verbenaceae Family with a total of 31 genera. Those numbers may change periodically as updates are made.

Distribution map of Phyla lanceolate from Plants of the World Online. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved March 30, 2020.

The above distribution map for Phyla lanceolata is from Plants of the World Online. Areas in green is where the species is native. The map on the USDA Plants Database for North America is the same.

There are several links at the bottom of the page for further reading and to help with positive ID.

Phyla lanceolata (Lanceleaf Fogfruit) on 7-29-19, #608-33.

I first found this delightful wildflower growing among the grass (and other plants) along the edge of the southeast pasture after the hay had been cut on July 29 (2019). I hadn’t noticed it before as with many wildflowers here because maybe the cows had been eating it. I took several photos and later found several colonies of this species in other areas along the back fence.

Phyla lanceolata is a perennial plant that typically grows from 6” to 2’ tall. Plants may grow erect or sprawl along the ground and root at the nodes. This seems to be a variable species judging from reading information on several websites and looking at a lot of photos. 


Phyla lanceolata (Lanceleaf Fogfruit) on 7-29-19, #608-34.

Its leaves grow in an opposite fashion and may vary in shape from lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, narrowly elliptic, rhombic, or ovate. The leaves are serrated, taper toward both ends, sessile or may have short petioles, usually tapering to a point (although I have seen photos of more rounded leaves (see Plants of Louisiana below). Leaves and stems can be hairless or slightly hairy (pubescent).


Phyla lanceolata (Lanceleaf Fogfruit) on 7-29-19, #608-35.

Flowering stems terminate with a hard to explain, um, cone-like structure or head. These heads can be roundish or oblong. Plants here have oblong heads while I have seen photos of them being round. The heads produce numerous flowers and I am not going to even try to describe them. There are several links below that give elaborate botanical descriptions. All I will say is that this is an interesting plant… 


Phyla lanceolata (Lanceleaf Fogfruit) on 7-29-19, #608-36.

I will keep an eye open for these plants in 2020 so I can take more photos. Hopefully, I can get photos of several leaf types and some good close-ups.

I have enjoyed photographing and learning about the many wildflowers growing on the farm and other areas. My farm is in Windsor, Missouri in Pettis County (Henry County is across the street and Benton and Johnson aren’t far away). I have grown over 500 different plants and most have pages listed on the right side of the blog. I am not an expert, botanist, or horticulturalist. I just like growing, photographing and writing about my experience. I rely on several websites for ID and a horticulturalist I contact if I cannot figure them out. Wildflowers can be somewhat variable from location to location, so sometimes it gets a bit confusing. If you see I have made an error, please let me know so I can correct what I have written.

I hope you found this page useful and be sure to check the links below for more information. They were written by experts and provide much more information. Some sites may not be up-to-date but they are always a work in progress. If you can, I would appreciate it if you would click on the “Like” below and leave a comment. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. You can also send an email to me at I would enjoy hearing from you especially if you notice something is a bit whacky.

NOTE: Plants of the World Online is the most up-to-date database. It is very hard for some to keep with name changes these days so you may find a few discrepancies between the websites. Just be patient. Hopefully, someday they will be in harmony. 🙂