Above: Virginia Waterleaf in Madison, Wisconsin on May 23, 2019.
Virginia Waterleaf/Eastern Waterleaf - Hydrophyllum virginianum
The white, pink or pale blue flowers develop in dense spherical cymes (clusters of eight to 20 bell-shaped flowers) and appear in mid spring to early summer. Flowers exposed to sunlight bleach rapidly.
The flowers are pollinated by bumblebees, small carpenter bees, and other long-tongued bees that feed on its nectar.
Names include: Virginia Waterleaf, Eastern Waterleaf. The indigenous people of Wisconsin ate waterleaf; hence, the dated colloquial name, Shawnee salad; and also John's cabbage. And, because the leaves are good to eat when they are young and tender, some people still gather wild waterleaf (www.foragerchef.com).
Note: You should always consult a reputable field guide when foraging for edible wildflowers and plants to ensure proper identification and important preparation processes and precautions.
Above: Virginia Waterleaf in Madison, Wisconsin on May 30, 2019.
For more information on Virginia Waterleaf/Eastern Waterleaf, visit Wikipedia.
Or, visit the UW-Madison Master Gardener Program website page about Virginia Waterleaf.
Above: Virginia Waterleaf/Eastern Waterleaf (5/23/19)
Above: Virginia Waterleaf/Eastern Waterleaf in Oak Savanna (5/21/21)
Above: Virginia Waterleaf/Eastern Waterleaf (6/02/19)
Above: Eastern Waterleaf in Oak Savana in Madison, Wisconsin (5/22/22)