Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Hydrophyllum occidentale (S.Wats.) Gray
- Family: Water-leaf (Hydrophyllaceae)
- Flowering: April-June
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by its coarsely toothed leaf segments, with only 2-4 teeth on each side, and by its cymes of blue flowers which stand above the leaves.
- Habitat: Moist woods and thickets, from foothills to mid-mountain elevations.
- Habit: Perennial herb with rhizomes and fleshy roots.
- Stems: Upright, often branched near the base, up to 1 1/2 feet tall, with spreading hairs.
- Leaves: Basal and alternate, pinnately divided into 7-15 segments; each segment up to
1 1/2 inches wide, pointed at the tip, with 2-4 coarse teeth on each side, with spreading
- Flowers: Borne in crowded, rounded cymes elevated above the leaves, the inflorescence on hairy stalks up to 6 inches long; individual flower stalks up to 1/4 inch long.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below, 1/8-1/6 inch long, hairy and ciliate.
- Petals: 5, blue-violet or even white, united to form a bell, 1/4-1/2 inch long, usually with a very shallow notch at the tip.
- Stamens: 5, attached to the tube of the petals.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; style 2-cleft.
- Fruits: Capsules ovoid, about 1/6 inch wide, containing 1-3 seeds.
- Notes: There is variation in the degree of hairiness in this species.
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