Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Waterpod - Hydrolea quadrivalvis   WalterOnly member of Hydrolea in NC.
Google Images
Section 6 » Order Solanales » Family Hydroleaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
AuthorWalter
DistributionPresent over most of the Coastal Plain, and ranges west into the eastern edge of the Piedmont; occurs west to Durham, Chatham, and Anson counties, with a disjunct record to Gaston County.

This is mostly a Coastal Plain species, ranging from MD south to central FL and west to eastern LA; it does range north into southern TN.
AbundanceInfrequent to locally fairly common (at least formerly) in the Coastal Plain, except rare near the coast. Rare and local in the eastern edge of the Piedmont. Seems to have declined in recent years in the Coastal Plain, and there are relatively few records now as compared with a few decades ago; all photos on iNaturalist are from the Piedmont!
HabitatThis is semi-aquatic species usually growing in very shallow water, typically in swamp openings, shallow water along the edge of a pond or lake, marshes, or along margins of slow-moving rivers. The species can be somewhat ephemeral in its habitat.
See also Habitat Account for Coastal Plain Herbaceous Ponds and Sloughs
PhenologyBlooms from June to September, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a rather decumbent plant, rooting at the nodes, and growing to about 2 feet long, often lying on mud or in shallow water. The stem is succulent but is quite hispid. The alternate stem leaves are fairly large, elliptical, about 4 inches long and 1-inch wide, with entire margins. The very attractive flowers grow in leaf axils, several per axil. They are bright blue, somewhat bell-shape with 5 flaring and triangular lobes, and a spread of nearly 1-inch across. When in bloom, the species is easily identified, but in vegetative condition, it is an ordinary looking semi-aquatic plant -- looking a bit like a smartweed of some kind, but with wide and fleshy stems that are so hairy that they almost look dangerous to grab.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS3? [S3S4]
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
Select a source
AllHerbaria
Individual
Website
Select an occurrence type
AllCollection_naturalLiterature_naturalSight_natural