Plant: erect perennial herb with a square, woody stem usually covered by downy hair; 4-10 ft. high, depending upon conditions.
Leaves: lance-shaped, stalk-less and rounded to heart-shaped at the base; arranged in pairs or whorls around the stem.
Flowers, fruits and seeds: produces a showy display of magenta-colored flower spikes throughout much of the summer. Individual flowers have five to seven petals. A single mature plant can have 30-50 stems arising from one rootstock, and can produce an estimated two to three million seeds per year. The flowering season extends from June to September; flowers require pollination by insects, for which they supply an abundant source of nectar.
Spreads: through the vast quantity of seeds, dispersed by wind and water. It also readily reproduces vegetatively through underground stems at a rate of about one foot per year.
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