Marsh Pennywort - Hydrocotyle vulgaris

Scientific Name: Hydrocotyle vulgaris (Apiaceae).

English Name: Marsh Pennywort or White Rot (Umbellifer Family).

French Name: Ecuelle d'eau (='water saucer').

5 Key Characters:
  • round rather fleshy leaves with shallow lobes.
  • stalks attach to the leaves in the centre, rather in the manner of a parasol.
  • tiny, difficult to spot, greenish flowers tinged with pink.
  • does not look like an umbellifer.
  • creeping stems.
Lookalikes: Other Pennyworts Hydrocotyle spp, several of which are invasive aliens. They are larger, with more divided leaves, and have not been recorded in this area. Navelwort Umbilicus rupestris, which grows in dry acid conditions such as on granite walls.

Habitat: Bogs and fens.

Flowering Period: June-July-August.

Status: Common.

Further Reading and References:
The Wild Flower Key by Francis Rose.
Umbellifers of the British Isles by T G Tutin (a BSBI Handbook).
Tela Botanica.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

All photos will enlarge in a new window if you click on them. Row 1 - 2 in the drawdown zone of the Etang de la Ribaloche in the Foret de Preuilly, June. Top left shows the flower. Note that the white flowers top centre and bottom left belong to Lesser Water Plantain Baldellia ranuculoides, and the yellow flowers in top right are Lesser Spearwort Ranunculus flammula.

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