Frog Fruit

Scientific Name(s): Lippia nodiflora
Abundance: common
What: leaves
How: cooked, tea, smoked
Where: yards, landscaping, fields, sunny,
When: spring, summer
Nutritional Value: vitamins
Dangers: beware of harvesting from soils treated with pesticides.

Lots of frog fruit.
Frog Fruit

Frog Fruit

Frog fruit leaves.
Frog Fruit

Close-up of frog fruit's flower cluster.
Frog Fruit

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.
FrogFruit TX USDA


North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.
FROGFRUIT NA USDA


I really don't know why frog fruit has this name, though the flower clusters do look kind of like tiny pineapples. This common, summertime weed seems to like sunny, grassy areas and disturbed locations. In these places it can form thick mats, shot through with a few other low weeds and grasses. It's tough leaves have pointy-toothed edges and a pinnate vein pattern. Stems are tough and somewhat rough. Because of its durable, drought resistant nature it is becoming popular in landscaping.

While the cooked leaves are edible, their texture and glass-like flavor isn't all that great. A more common use is to make a tea or smoked. Used in these manners, frog fruit is believed to offer relief from fevers, coughs, and other mild respiratory issues. For tea and smoking, let the leaves dry for a few weeks for best flavor and medicinal properties.

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