Hydrophyllum appendiculatum (Appendaged Waterleaf)
|Also known as:
|part shade, shade; rich woods
|May - June
|1 to 2 feet
|Wetland Indicator Status:
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):
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Loose clusters 2 to 3 inches across of pinkish purple to lavender flowers at the tips of stems and branches that arise above the leaves. The terminal flowers in the cluster open first (cyme). Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across, saucer to bell shaped, with 5 oval petals fused at the base, 5 slender white stamens with dark purplish tips.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are simple and alternate, oval to round in outline. Lower leaves are 2 to 6 inches long and wide, on a long stalk with 5 to 7 dominant lobes and shallower lobes along the edges, all lobes pointed at the tip with shallow, irregular teeth around the edges. Upper leaves are reduced in size, often just 3 shallow lobes. Upper leaf surface is covered with soft scattered hairs. Stems are weak and covered in long hairs, the mass of branches often supported by surrounding vegetation.
Hydrophyllum appendiculatum inhabits shady, moist ravines and is common in stream valleys of Minnesota's southeast driftless region. Late May to early June is a good time to search for this in Whitewater State Park in Winona County. It is easy to distinguish from the related Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum) by the leaf shape and the small reflexed appendages on the calyx.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken along Beaver Creek in the Whitewater Management Area in Winona county.
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