Above: Virginia Waterleaf in Madison, Wisconsin on May 23, 2019.
Virginia 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, 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 (6/02/19)