Scientific name: Hydrocotyle umbellata
Water-pennywort is a small plant that grows to a height of 10-30 cm. Petioles (leaf-stalks) attach to the slender stem that creeps along the substrate. Each leaf is 1-3 cm wide. Flowering is sporadic, but clusters of small white flowers can be observed on long peduncles that originate from the stem. Approximately 12 small flowers are found in each cluster.
Sand or gravel lakeshores just above or below the waterline. It generally grows in substrates that are acidic and nutrient poor, in areas subjected to disturbances such as wind, ice scour and water fluctuations. Disturbances such as these are necessary to reduce competing vegetation.
Water-pennywort is found in submerged or just above the water line along lakeshores. Look for its flowers between July and September.
- Lakeshore ACPF species require fluctuating water levels; high water levels reduce competition and low water levels stimulate flowering.
- The Tusket River Nature Reserve on Wilson’s Lake protects important habitat for this species, as well as other ACPF such as Pink Coreopsis and Plymouth Gentian.
- Plants are accidentally trampled by canoeists and hikers inside Kejimkujik National Park.
- Outside the park, the greatest threat is cottage development and its associated activities, including shoreline alteration, land clearing and road building.
Courtesy of Species at Risk in Nova Scotia: Identification & Information Guide