Lysimachia nummularia (Creeping Jenny)
|Also known as:||Moneywort|
|Habitat:||part shade, shade; moist woods, wetlands, along streams, lawns, gardens|
|Bloom season:||June - August|
|Plant height:||1 to 2 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACW MW: FACW NCNE: FACW|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are cup-like in the leaf axils, about ¾ inch across, with 5 bright yellow, round petals slightly tapering to a point, the edges a bit ruffled, and the surface often speckled with deep red dots. 5 yellow stamens and a single pistil, mostly recessed with an erect, slender style, are in the center. The calyx with 5 broadly triangular lobes is hidden beneath the open flower, on a short stalk.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are evergreen, generally round, ¾ to 1 inch long and wide, in opposite pairs with smooth edges, on a short stalk. Surfaces are also smooth but with faint gland like dots. The stems are hairless, light green, creeping and many branched, rooting at the nodes and forming dense mats.
Creeping Jenny, also commonly called Moneywort, has been popular in the garden trade as a hardy, dense ground cover, especially along shady margins where it blooms most of the summer. A rampant spreader, its can become weedy and when it escapes into natural habitats, its shade tolerance and evergreen characteristics give it great advantage over native woodland species, especially highly valued spring ephemerals. While more than a few gardeners have discovered its highly aggressive behavior to their own chagrin, its greatest potential for damage will be along riparian forests. We are fairly confident this species is under-reported in Minnesota.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Anoka County, and at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Ramsey County.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?