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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Virginia Pennywort- A Shy Beauty

I saw so many flowers that were completely new to me in Alabama I still haven't gotten them all recorded. Here's one that I guess isn't really rare, but it's more southern than northern, and I hadn't seen it before. However, I have now read that it might be seen in Ohio or Indiana.

But, take a look at how difficult it is to spot. You'd have to be looking carefully to keep from missing this.

Virginia Pennywort

This is known as Virginia Pennywort. It's actually a member of the Gentain family, Obolaria virginica. Here's where it gets interesting to me. There are a number of plants whose common name is pennywort. This doesn't look like any of the ones I know by that common name.

Take a look at the stunning flowers.

Virginia Pennywort
Notice how each flower is a little tube, and the leaves are opposite. Those are characteristics of the Gentainaceae (although other families have tubular flowers too). "Obolus" is Greek for a coin. The leaves are bronzy, and round, like a little coin... penny. "Wyrt" is Old English for plant. Lots of plant names have it in a combination word... wort. Thus pennywort. I guess the Virginia gets tagged on to denote it as a more southern species.

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Duxbury Ramblers said...

Now that is beautiful

Ann said...

I didn't even notice the little white flowers on it in the first picture. It's pretty

Secondary Roads said...

That is a beautiful find. I'm going to have to do some work this fall so that next spring can welcomed by crocus and hyacinth. I've finally managed to kill the ones we used to have.

RNSANE said...

It is very easy to miss in that setting and what a shame that would be...such a pretty flower.

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