Hydrophyllum virginianum, Virginia Waterleaf

Virginia Wetleaf in its woodland habitat.

Virginia Watereaf, sometimes Wetleaf, is a common inhabitant of our woodlands here at Shelterwood Gardens. It has been the only plant to survive under a sheet of plastic for 12 months as part of my Creeping Charlie eradication plan. In other words, it's a tough plant despite its delicate appearance. 

It will grow in part sun with adequate moisture, but will do best with mostly shade and evenly moist soils during the hottest months. Although its leaves are attractive, form is good, and flowers pretty, Virginia Waterleaf, in my opinion, is not a formal garden plant. When conditions are well-suited to it, you will be digging it out more than enjoying it. On the other hand, for woodland renovations, buckthorn removal projects, and other woodland wildflower gardens, Virginia Waterleaf is just what you are looking for in a native, woodland flowering plant.

Blooms: pale violet and lavender to white, May into June 

Height: 12 to 18 inches

Conditions: pt sun to full shade, moist-medium to medium soils

Early spring Virginia Waterleaf foliage with Bloodroot making an appearance

Less common white-flowered form can also be found in the wild.