Lemonscent

Pectis angustifolia

Summary 11

By Lucy, Menaul School

Pectis angustifolia (lemonscented cinchweed) is a summer blooming annual plant which is found in Western North America, generally from Nebraska and Colorado to Arizona and Mexico. It is in flower from July to October, and the seeds ripen from September to October. Lemonscented cinchweed cannot grow in the shade. The plant is carminative and emetic. The crushed leaves have been used in the treatment of stomach aches.

Etymology Information 12

Pectis means "comb" in latin, and refers to the marginal cilia of the petioles; angustifolia means narrow-leaf.

Botanical Information 12

Class: Dicotyledoneae
Genus: Pectis
Family: Asteraceae or
Compositae
Species: angustifolia
Synonym: Pectis angustifolia var. angustifolia.
Stems: Leafy, slender, 5-8 inches tall.
Leave: Fleshy, opposite, sessile, linear and lemon-scented, 1-4mm long by 1-3mm wide
Flowers: Yellow and fertile
Inflorescence: Panicle
Fruits: Pubescent black achenes 2.5-4mm long with a crown-like pappus 0.1-0.3mm long.
Flowering/Fruiting Period: June-September
Height: 6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
Spacing: 9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
Category: Annuals
Foliage: Herbaceous, shiny/glossy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Anthophyta

Ecological Information 12

Contribute to the wildlife which are Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-insects and Seeds-Granivorous birds.
Range: Western N. American-Nebraska and Colorado to Arizona and Mexico.
Habitat: Dry uplands, mostly found in low areas in sandy ravines, plains, hills, mesas and sand bars, in desert scrublands.
Use Ornamental: Grows in Clumps, Aromatic, Low growing, Rock gardens, Border, Mass planting.

Ethnobotanical Information 12

Edible Uses:
Edible part: Leaves
Edible Uses: Condiment
Leaves used for raw or cooked, used as a seasoning, they are also used as a flavoring and hot tea since they have a strong lemon-scent.
Medicinal Uses:
This plant is carminative and emetic. Crushed leaves are used to treat stomach pain. All flowers and plants (pettis genus) have oil glands embedded in plant tissues that can be seen with low magnification or the naked eye.
Some kinds of oil have lemon aromas, some have spicy smells, some have little or no aroma. These oils may help stop herbivores, including insects. In addition, the flowers mixed with salt have been eaten in the treatment of stomach complaints.
Other Uses:
A good low-growing plant for rock gardens or borders. The plant yields an inferior dye.

Gardeners’ Notes: 12

Neutral: On Feb 15, 2015, RoyAmick from Alpine, TX wrote:
This delightful little plant grows in clusters along roads in Big Bend Ranch State Park. During spring, it produces small orange/yellow flowers and seems to prefer dark soils. You will recognize this plant by crushing a leaf and noticing the smell of lemons. Take a few leaves, put them in your water bottle with some stevia for a refreshing beverage! It’s wonderful.

Positive: On Aug 24, 2009, cactushayes from San Antonio, TX wrote:
Pectis angustifolia is a sweet little annual that grows in the Big Bend area of Texas. This is a desert climate. The plant is suitable for a xeric wildflower garden. It doesn’t live long but re-seeds very well.

Other Notes 12

It's the most common annual Pectis in Arizona and throughout most of New Mexico, and the distinctly scented herb emerges in response to monsoon rains in the southwest

References 12

p161. Yanovsky. E. Food Plants of the N. American Indians. Publication no. 237
p177. Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption
p216. Whiting. A. F. Ethnobotany of the Hopi
p235. Britton. N. L. Brown. A. An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada
p245. Genders. R. Scented Flora of the World.
p257. Moerman. D. Native American Ethnobotany
p274. Diggs, Jnr. G.M.; Lipscomb. B. L. & O'Kennon. R. J. Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas
Plants Profile for Pectis Angustifolia (Lemonscent), plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=PEAN.
“Plant Database.” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin, www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=PEAN.
Southwest Colorado Wildflowers, Pectis Angustifolia, www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/Yellow Enlarged Photo Pages/pectis angustifolia.htm.
“Plant of the Week.” Lemonscent, www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/pectis_angustifolia.shtml.
Southwest Colorado Wildflowers, Pectis Angustifolia, www.swcoloradowildflowers.com/Yellow Enlarged Photo Pages/pectis angustifolia.htm.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Richard Reynolds, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://www.inaturalist.org/photos/672695
  2. (c) lucyliang1, all rights reserved, uploaded by lucyliang1, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33928630
  3. (c) lucyliang1, all rights reserved, uploaded by lucyliang1, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33928747
  4. (c) lucyliang1, all rights reserved, uploaded by lucyliang1, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33928752
  5. (c) lucyliang1, all rights reserved, uploaded by lucyliang1, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33928841
  6. (c) lucyliang1, all rights reserved, uploaded by lucyliang1, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33928845
  7. (c) lucyliang1, all rights reserved, uploaded by lucyliang1, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33928849
  8. (c) lucyliang1, all rights reserved, uploaded by lucyliang1, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33928851
  9. (c) lucyliang1, all rights reserved, uploaded by lucyliang1, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33928854
  10. (c) lucyliang1, all rights reserved, uploaded by lucyliang1, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33928855
  11. Adapted by smiller33 from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pectis_angustifolia
  12. (c) lucyliang1, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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