Wildflowers Monday – Hydrophyllum virginianum

It’s in the details

Conspicuously silver-marked, pinnate leaves which are among the first to appear early in the spring:

Hydrophyllum virginianum - early spring foliage

Hydrophyllum virginianum – early spring foliage

Curled flower buds with ciliate calyces which resemble an exquisite lace work; opening to reveal white or purple bell-shaped flowers with exerted stamens:

Hydrophyllum virginianum flowers

Hydrophyllum virginianum flowers

…recognized by pollination ecologists as very valuable because they attract large numbers of native bees. They must be delicious – often foraged by the bumblebees long after their prime:

Bumblebee on Hydrophyllum virginianum

Bumblebee on Hydrophyllum virginianum

Hydrophyllum virginianum grows very well in dry, shade conditions of hardwood forests, bottomlands and edges of the woods. Excellent as a groundcover in difficult shady areas and for naturalization projects. Although considered a bit weedy, I noticed that it is not capable to compete with the non-native invasive species, which are spreading in the remnants woodlots between newly developed residential areas.

Another Hydrophyllum that will save your time (and back) from weeding in the shady, moist areas of the garden, is the Broad-leaf waterleaf – Hydrophyllum canadense.

Hydrophyllum canadense

Hydrophyllum canadense

2 replies
    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      There will be seeds – you can spread few around in one of your gardens! Let me know :)

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