It grows in forests, especially Coast redwood forests.
Vancouveria planipetala is a rhizomatous perennial herb with a short, mostly underground stem. It produces a patch of basal leaves which are each made up of round or heart-shaped leaflets borne on long, reddish petioles.
The inflorescence appears in May and June. It is a panicle of flowers on a long, erect peduncle. Each small, drooping flower has six inner sepals which look like petals. They are a few millimeters in length, white, and reflexed back, or upwards, away from the flower center. Lying against the sepals are the smaller true petals, which are white or purple-tinged and flat-tipped or notched. There are six stamens and a large glandular ovary.
- Jepson Manual eFlora (TJM2) treatment of Vancouveria planipetala
- USDA Plants Profile for Vancouveria planipetala (redwood ivy)
- U.C. CalPhotos gallery of Vancouveria planipetala
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