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Whipplea modesta (Common whipplea)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Whipplea modesta

Whipplea modesta Torr.

Common Whipplea, Modesty, Whipplevine, Yerba De Selva

Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangea Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A trailing, slightly woody plant with weak, slender branches, 1-5 ft. long. The leaves are opposite and semi-deciduous, occuring on short, lateral branches which are tipped with a puff of tiny, white flowers. Branches do not exceed 6-12 in. in height. From long, trailing, rooting stems grow many erect shoots, each tipped with a small head of white flowers.

These plants often form dense, low patches on rocky banks or in open, mixed woods of broadleaf trees and conifers. The Spanish name means "herb of the forest."


From the Image Gallery

1 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 1 foot tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


Native Distribution: Coast Ranges from Monterey Co. CA to OR
Native Habitat: Shaded slopes below 4500 ft.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Needs some summer moisture. Useful as a ground cover and soil stabilizer. Aromatic foliage.


Description: Propagate by layering, or with rooted sections or seed.
Seed Treatment: No treatment necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-04-05
Research By: TWC Staff

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