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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Hydrophyllum virginianum L.
Eastern waterleaf, Shawnee salad, Virginia waterleaf
USDA Symbol: hyvi
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Clusters of white or dark violet flowers are on long stalks arising on the leaf axils and extending above the leaves. 1 ft. perennial with broadly triangular leaves which are lobed almost to the midrib. Leaflets may be further lobed. Surface of the leaves is marked as if stained by water. Clusters of bell-shaped, lavender flowers are held above the leaves on an erect stem.
This woodland perennial with the water-stained appearance of the leaves (suggesting its common name) is one of several in this genus with tubular flowers and protruding stamens. Large-leaved Waterleaf (H. macrophyllum), a southern and midwestern species, is rough and hairy. Broad-leaved Waterleaf (H. canadense) has flower stalks shorter than its maple-like leaves and occurs from western New England to northern Alabama and Missouri. The flowers of both these species are white, but the Appendaged Waterleaf (H. appendiculatum) has showier lavender flowers and leaves that are lobed but not as deeply cut as those of Virginia Waterleaf. Its range is from Ontario and Minnesota south to Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Missouri, and eastern Kansas.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun
, WV Canada: MB
, QC Native Distribution:
Que. to Man., s. through w. New England to SC, TN,
and e. KS. Native Habitat:
Rich, upland woods; shady floodplains; moist clearings
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Rich, moist soils.
Conditions Comments: A low-maintanance ground cover for wooded areas. Leaves often have whitish colouring like a water stain, hence the name waterleaf. Can be an agressive grower.
Division is the most practical method of increase. Divide the rhizome
in fall or when plants go dormant, making sure each section has a leaf bud
and some roots. For seed propagation, best results are obtained by sowing outdoors immediately after collection. Seed Collection:
Seed capsules mature to dark-brown or black 8-10 weeks after flowering. Seeds are light-brown when mature. If storage is necessary, pack seeds in damp sphagnum moss and refrigerate in a sealed container. Seed Treatment:
Not Available Commercially Avail:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
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, DEMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2012-10-03
Research By: TWC Staff