Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hydrophyllum appendiculatum in Celebration of National Wildflower Week

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!
I wish I had gotten a photo of the many little bees that visit it for pollen and nectar. There are flowering plants every year, so it is getting pollinated. Besides the little bees, bumbles, wasps, flies, beetles, skippers and butterflies stop by!

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.


  1. That is a lovely plant! I grow Hydrophyllum virginianum L. here.

    1. I am glad you have a cousin~They're great plants.

  2. Lovely and very interesting plants.

  3. Such a pretty shade of lavender blue! I don't have this plant, but I share your love of Amsonia in your previous post--mine is still waking up this spring. My garden is suddenly full of bees!

  4. That is a lovely flower, and a mouthful of a name to go with it.

  5. Just found this blooming for the first time where my garden used to be��... I may have planted it and forgot about it, or just thought that my chickens got it������ or?
    I don't know how it got there but it's happy and cute and smells so nice!


"Insects are the little things that run the world." Dr. E O Wilson