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Hydrolea ovata (Blue waterleaf)
Cressler, Alan

Hydrolea ovata

Hydrolea ovata Nutt. ex Choisy

Blue Waterleaf, Ovate False Fiddleleaf, Hairy Hydrolea

Hydrophyllaceae (Waterleaf Family)

Synonym(s): Nama ovata


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

The sprawling, sturdy blue waterleaf plant, which grows to 3 feet tall, is spiny and covered with rough hairs. Several stems grow from the base and are branched in the upper portion. Leaves are 1-2 1/2 inches long and 1 inch wide, alternate, undivided, and unlobed. There is a prominent spine on the stem just below the leaf. Many flowers and buds grow in clusters at the ends of the stems. Flowers are bright blue or purplish, 1 inch across, funnel-shaped, opening into 5 broad petal-like lobes. The conspicuous purple stamens extend beyond the petals. Blue waterleaf tends to form large colonies around the edge of lakes, ponds, and streams, and may stand in water for weeks without apparent damage (248).


From the Image Gallery

15 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Ovate
Fruit Type: Capsule
Leaf: Leaves pubescent.
Flower: Flowers showy.
Fruit: Fruit an irregularly dehiscent capsule.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct


USA: AL , AR , FL , GA , KY , LA , MO , MS , OK , TN , TX
Native Habitat: Stream/river banks, Near lakes or ponds

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Drought Tolerance: Low
Aquatic: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay


Use Ornamental: Blooms ornamental, Bog or pond area, Water garden
Use Wildlife: Flowers are highly attractive to bees (especially bumblebees) and butterflies.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

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 on display at the following locations:

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Stengl Biological Research Station - Smithville, TX

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-1115 Collected 2007-10-01 in Van Zandt County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hydrolea ovata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hydrolea ovata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hydrolea ovata


Record Modified: 2015-02-01
Research By: NPC

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