Field tea (Phlomis lychnitis)

It is used as an infusion. In medicine, it has astringent, anti-hemorrhoidal and healing properties. This plant has also been used as a wick for ancient candles.

Harvesting: spring-summer


Matas. Stems 25-60 cm, sparsely branched, densely stellate-tomentose. Basal leaves 70-100 x 7-12 mm, linear-lanceolate, entire, obtuse, attenuate at base; caulinar leaves lanceolate. Bracts 15-60 x 20-35 mm, ovate-rhombic, cuspidate. Bracteoles 9-15 x 0.5-0.7 mm, linear, subulate, hairy. Calyx 12-14 mm, with 8-10 mm tube and 3-4 mm teeth, densely hairy, with stellate hairs at base. Corolla 23-28 mm, yellow, with tube 70-13 mm. 2n = 20. Flowers from March to June.

Flora Iberica: Suffrutice 14,5-70 cm, sometimes with stolons. Stems erect, sometimes arched, the sterile ones with leaves at the end, densely hairy, especially the lower ones. Leaves 3-14 × 0.5-1.4 cm, lanceolate, the caulinar ones somewhat broader, becoming progressively bract-like, with rough, dark green, stellate-hairy, sometimes with a longer branch, with whitish underside, with protruding nerves, the young ones woolly; with attenuate petioles, those of opposite leaves solitary, sessile the caulinar ones. Inflorescence formed by 4-6 whorls with 6 flowers each, ± close together in the apical part, cupped. Bracts 1.1-5.3(5.9) × 1.2-2.6(3) cm, sessile, cup-forming between 2 opposite, broadly ovate, the lower ones long acuminate, those above ovate and acute, smooth-surfaced above and veined broadly, with veins forming an irregular mesh, hairy on the margin with matted hairs; bractlets 10-15 mm, 2-3 per calyx, linear, with plumose, long hairs, ca. 4 mm. Calyx 13-14 mm, with 3.5-4 mm teeth, alesnate. Corolla c. 25 mm, deep yellow; tube glabrous included in calyx; lips 13-16 mm, the upper one helmet-shaped, covered outside with stellate hairs, ciliate; lower lip with central convex lobe, sometimes longer, the lateral ones 2-3.5 mm, triangular; opening between them almost horizontal. Stamens generally recurved within the upper lobe, following its curvature; anthers with thecae welded and aligned in the direction of the filament, so they appear to be one, with lateral dehiscence. Recurved style. Nucules 4-6 × 2-4 mm, ovoid, subtrigonous, brownish. 2n = 20.

Flora Iberica remarks: Sometimes there are forms with dark pilosity, less hairy, which seem to be related to acid substrates. Towards the SE, large forms appear, probably due to the introgression of Ph. crinita. This species hybridizes with Ph. crinita subsp. malacitana × Ph. lychnitis resulting in Ph. x composita described in Flora Vascular de Andalucía Occidental as: Description: Matas. Stems 40-70 cm, sparsely branched, densely stellate-tomentose, glandular. Basal leaves 70-110 x 30-45 mm, ovate, entire, obtuse, cordate; caulinar leaves ovate-lanceolate. Bracts 15-55 x 18-30 mm, ovate-rhombic, cuspidate. Bracteoles 10-16 x 0.5-0.7 mm, linear, subulate, hairy. Calyx 15-17 mm, with 11-13 mm tube and 3.5-4.5 mm teeth, densely hairy, with eglandular and glandular stellate hairs. Corolla 28-35 mm, orange-brown, tube 12-15 mm. 2n = 20. Flowers from April to July. Distribution: Stony, calcareous soils, at altitudes above 1000m. Grazalema. General distribution. S of Spain, Nw of Africa.