Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Largeleaf Pennywort - Hydrocotyle bonariensis   Lamarck
Members of Araliaceae:
Members of Hydrocotyle with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Apiales » Family Araliaceae
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DistributionFound along the entire coast. Inland records in the Coastal Plain from Greene and Perquimans counties are actually H. tribotrys. The record from Harnett County is not natural (hedgerow at edge of yard and roadside, likely established from plantings).

This is essentially a coastal species, ranging barely into southeastern VA, and south around the coasts to TX; there are scattered inland records.
AbundanceFrequent to common along the coast.
HabitatThis is a characteristic beach dune plant, found around dunes, especially in damp spots such as swales. Away from dunes, it occurs in damp, sandy and open ground.
PhenologyBlooms from April to September, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a familiar plant around coastal dunes, sprawling or creeping, with thick and somewhat fleshy leaves, often forming large clumps of plants. Each leaf is on a long petiole, often 3-6 inches long, and the blade is peltate, with the top of the petiole connecting to the middle of the leaf underside. The orbicular blade is about 3 inches across, with scalloped margins. There are numerous umbels of flowers, on stalks of 3-4 inches high, and each cluster is verticillate on the branches (i.e., tiny whorls of flowers at intervals on the branches). H. umbellata, a very numerous wetland species, is similar but has a single, simple umbel on a long stalk, as opposed to numerous whorled ones on branches. Several other species have peltate leaves like this one, but the whorled flowers are on unbranched axes.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Dune Pennywort, Seaside Pennywort, Giant Pennywort, Dollarweed. The common name of Largeleaf Marsh-pennywort is used on this website for the non-native H. bowlesioides.
State RankS3S4 [S4]
Global RankG5
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B.A. SorrieFort Macon SP, late May 2018. CarteretBIPhoto_natural
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