Limosella aquatica (Mudwort)

Plant Info
Also known as: Awl-leaf Mudwort, Water-mudwort
Family:Scrophulariaceae (Figwort)
Life cycle:annual
  • State Special Concern
Habitat:sun; mudflats, vernal pools, rock outcrops, lowland prairies
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:1 to 4 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals

[photo of flowers] Flowers are single at the tips of slender stalks that arise from s basal clump. Flowers are tiny, less than 1/8 inch across, somewhat bell-shaped with 5 spreading, white to lavender lobes. In the center are 4 white stamens and a white style that barely extends out of the short tube. Flower stalks are hairless and up to ½ inch long.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: basal Leaf type: simple

[leaves of submersed plants] Leaves are in a basal rosette, the blades 3/8 to 1 inch long and up to 1/3 inch wide, hairless, toothless, lance-elliptic, mostly rounded at the tip and tapering towards the base, on slender stalks up to 4 inches long.

[photo of leaves] Plants produce horizontal stems (stolons) that root at the nodes and form new basal clumps, creating loose colonies, and may be submersed or land-locked.

Fruit: Fruit type: capsule/pod

Fruit is a 2-celled, round to oval capsule about 1/8 inch long, containing many tiny seeds.


Mudwort is a rare species of rock outcrops and low prairies, living in the mud and shallow waters of vernal pools. According to the DNR, its preferred habitat is rare itself, and home to many at-risk species. Threats include destruction from cattle grazing and gravel mining. Mudwort was listed as a Special Concern species in 1984.

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More photos

Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken at Blue Mounds State Park, Rock County.


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