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.

Medicinal Summary
Leaves - fever reducer, antimicrobial, cough suppressant, reduces respiratory issues (tisane, smoke)

Leaf Arrangement: Leaves are arranged in an opposite alternating pattern along the stem.

Leaf Shape: The leaves are broadly elliptical to ovate, typically measuring about 0.5 to 1.5 inches in length and 0.25 to 0.75 inches in width.

Leaf Venation: Venation is pinnate, with a central vein and smaller veins branching off towards the margins.

Leaf Margin: The margins are serrated or toothed, particularly towards the leaf tip.

Leaf Color: The color of the leaves is a deep green, often with a slightly lighter shade along the veins.

Flower Structure: Flowers are small, clustered in dense, rounded heads at the tips of stems or in leaf axils, and have a funnel shape.

Flower Color: The flowers are usually white or pale pink.

Fruit: The fruit is a small, dry, two-part capsule.

Seed: Seeds are tiny, contained within the small capsules.

Stem: Stems are slender, creeping or trailing, and can root at the nodes.

Hairs: There are fine hairs along the stems and leaves.

Height: The plant typically spreads along the ground, with the flowering stems rising a few inches above the foliage.

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.

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. Its 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 grass-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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