From the Greek, hydor, water, and phyllon, leaf, but the allusion is not evident.

Perennial. Moist, shady places in rich soil. From Quebec to Alaska, south to South Carolina, Kansas, and Washington. Frequent in northern Ohio. May.


Creeping, scaly.


Slender, twelve to eighteen inches high, growing in clusters, often branched at the base.


Alternate; lower and basal leaves long-petioled, pinnately cut into five or seven segments which are oval or lanceolate, acute, sharply toothed or cut; upper leaves short-petioled with fewer segments.


Pale violet-purple or white with violet veins, borne in cymose clusters or one-sided racemes, coiled and forking.


Deeply five-parted, the segments narrow-lanceolate, fringed with long white hairs.


Tubular bell, five-lobed, with five linear honey-scales within, alternating with the lobes.


Five, inserted on the base of the corolla, extending far beyond the corolla; filaments white, bearded; anthers linear-oblong, dark in color.


One; style threadlike; stigma two-cleft.


Capsule, globose, size of small pea, four-seeded; only one of the seeds usually reaching perfection.

Pollinated by bees. Nectar-bearing.

Hydrophyllum is a leafy plant about a foot high, forming colonies and communities in moist, shady



Hydrophyllum Virginicum places, and blooming in May. Stems and leaves are rather smooth, but the flower-cluster fairly bristles with hairs. This cluster is a one-sided, coiled raceme which unrolls as the buds come into bloom - a kind of inflorescence called scorpoid, of which the garden gives us in the Heliotrope an excellent example.