Appendaged waterleaf/Great waterleaf is a biennial plant about 1–2½' tall that I wish made a bigger impact in my garden. It's found a damp space and every year there is at least one plant, of which I am most greatful.
It's a sweet flower and has common characteristic of the Hydrophylloideae family~a taprooted plant whose flowers have 5 petals and 5 stamens. The flowers of this plant are perfect. Of course they are lovely, but, in botany terms that means that each individual flower has both male and female structures (stamens and carpels). The lovely pale purple flowers are very like a Phacelia bipinnatifida, a wonderful early bloomer that is adored by pollinators. (Bees love Purple Phacelia and so do I)
Western gardeners have many Hydrophylloideae family members to choose among. So check them out!
Flowering: April -July.
Habitat: Moist rich woods, slopes, base of bluffs, woodland borders, near woodland paths, thickets.
Native: Middle Tennessee and many Eastern states in the U.S.
Now get your wildflower on and share a favorite or two for National Wildflower Week!
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.