Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.
Search native plant database:
Bruso, George H.
Jeffersonia diphylla (L.) Pers.
USDA Symbol: JEDI
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
The simple leaf at the apex of each stem is divided into two identical parts. Leaves have reached only half their mature height, 12-18, when the leafless flower stalk produces a white, 8-petaled, star-like blossom. Fruit is a pipe-like capsule that pops open when ripe.
The solitary flower somewhat resembles that of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), but the latter species has palmately compound leaves with 5-9 lobes. Although both common and species names suggest a plant with two leaves, there are actually more; each leaf is divided into two nearly separate leaflets. The genus was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson by his friend and fellow botanist William Bartram. Only one other species of twinleaf occurs in the world: J. dubia, found in Japan.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Venation: Palmate Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
, WV Canada: ON Native Distribution: NY
& s. Ont. to WI
& n.e. IA,
s. to MD
& mts. from GA
to TN Native Habitat:
Rich, moist woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Moist Soil pH:
Acidic (pH<6.8) Soil Description:
Rich, damp soils. Conditions Comments:
The petals of this flower
are extremely fragile and often drop at the first gust of wind or light shower. Young plants do not compete well and should be kept free of weeds. The plant has pairs of angel wing
shaped leaves. (Lamb/Rhynard)
Plants of Jeffersonia diphylla were used medicinally by Native
Americans for treatment of dropsy, gravel and urinary ailments, and for gall and diarrhea, and in poultices for sores and ulcers (D. E. Moermann 1986). Conspicuous Flowers:
Easily propagated by seed, which should be sown immediately upon ripening and should not be allowed to dry out. Seedlings take 4-5 years to develop into flowering-sized plants. Large plants may be divided at the end of the growing season. Seed Collection:
Seeds should be collected 3-4 weeks after the bloom period. The capsule
is green, pear-shaped and 1 in. long, splitting open when the seeds are ripe. Seeds lose viability quickly in storage. Seed Treatment:
Not Available Commercially Avail:
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DELongwood Gardens
- Newark, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: DEW