Flowers of the Day: the Waterleafs

Hydrophyllaceae (waterleaf family)

There are two species of waterleaf found in the greater Carderock area, Virginia waterleaf and broad-leaved waterleaf.  There are vast stands of both around, but like may-apple and trout lily, you can see hundreds and hundreds of plants before seeing a single flower.  I saw buds on the broad-leaf and later saw seedpods, but entirely missed the flowers this year.

Waterleaf gets its name from the speckled appearance of the leaves when they’re emerging, though this coloration fades as the plants grow.  I’ve seen Virginia waterleaf as tall as 3 feet, with leaves about 8″ long.  Broad-leaved waterleaf is somewhat shorter and has smaller leaves.

Virginia Waterleaf  Hydrophyllum virginianum

20140518-DSC_0036  20140518-DSC_0072

Broad-leaved waterleaf, aka maple-leaved waterleaf  (Hydrophyllum canadense) (crappy iphone photo from last year)


emergent foliage showing the speckles:


One thought on “Flowers of the Day: the Waterleafs

  1. Pingback: What’s Blooming Now? | Elizabeth's Wildflower Blog

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