Hydrophyllum virginianum

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Hydrophyllum virginianum
Hydrophyllum virginianum var virginianum.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Hydrophyllum
H. virginianum
Binomial name
Hydrophyllum virginianum

Hydrophyllum virginianum, commonly called Virginia waterleaf or eastern waterleaf, is a species of plant in the borage family (Boraginaceae). It is an herbaceous perennial plant native to Eastern North America where it is primarily found in the Midwest, Northeast, and Appalachian regions.[1] Its natural habitat is in bottomland forests, mesic upland forests, and rocky forested bluffs.[2]


Hydrophyllum virginianum is an herbaceous perennial that spreads by rhizomes to form large colonies in wooded areas. It can also spread by seeds.[3] The seedling usually appear early to mid-spring. Flowers are blue, white, or purple, appearing in mid to late spring. Flowers exposed to sunlight bleach rapidly. Often the newer leaves are solid green with white spots appearing as they age and later disappearing in early summer.

Ripening seed pods in early June in Iowa


Populations in the southern Appalachian Mountains have purple to maroon flowers and differ in a number of other characters. The taxonomic status of these entities has been debated, with the most traditional treatments recognizing them at the varietal rank as Hydrophyllum virginianum var. atranthum.[2] However, specific status to these population (as Hydrophyllum atranthum) is given in the 2020 edition of Alan Weakley's Flora of the Southeastern United States.[4]


  1. ^ "Hydrophyllum virginianum". County-level distribution map from the North American Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  2. ^ a b Yatskievych, George (2013). Flora of Missouri, Volume 3. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. p. 274.
  3. ^ John Hilty (2004). "Woodland Wildflowers of Illinois".
  4. ^ Weakley, Alan (2020). "Flora of the Southeastern United States".

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