Virginia waterleaf

Hydrophyllum virginianum L.

Family: Hydrophyllaceae (waterleaf)

  • Bloom Period:
    • Early,
  • Growth Cycle:
    • Perennial,
  • Growth Habit:
    • Forbs/Herbs,
  • Insect Type Attracted:
    • Natural Enemy,
    • Pollinator,
  • Light:
    • Full,
    • Partial,
  • Region:
    • Northern Lower Peninsula,
    • Southern Lower Peninsula,
    • Upper Peninsula,
  • Soil Moisture:
    • Dry,
    • Medium,
    • Wet
  • Height:
    • 1-2ft

Natural enemies attracted

Mildly attractive: Chalcidoidea, Thomisidae, Empididae, Braconidae and Chlamydatus associatus.

Pollinators attracted

Moderately attractive: bees including yellow-faced bees, Andrenid bees, sweat bees, and small carpenter bees.

Pests attracted

Mildly attractive: lygus bugs, rootmaggot flies, leafhoppers and thrips.

Plant notes

Blooms are lavender bell-shaped clusters, with many hairlike structures inside the flower. This plant is low growing with attractive foliage that looks water-marked. It bloomed from late May through early June. Foliage remains green throughout the growing season. This was one of the less attractive early season native plants to natural enemies.


Virginia waterleaf tolerates full sun to partial shade, and fairly dry to very wet soil conditions. It naturally occurs in thickets, deciduous woods and marshy areas.

Cultivation and management

Sown seed flowers in its second or third year. It can also be grown from plug material (flowers in first or second year). This species spreads readily and makes a good groundcover in moist areas.