Image for Virginia Waterleaf

Virginia Waterleaf

Scientific name

Hydrophyllum virginianum


Virginia Waterleaf is a perennial wildflower that typically grows around 50 cm in height. This plant may also be known by the common names John's Cabbage or Shawnee Salad. The basal leaves are long stalked, pinnately compound with 3-7 leaflets, have sharply toothed margins, are deeply lobed, and sometimes have white spots that appear similar to water stains. The flowers are showy and unique, tiny, white to light purple colored, bell shaped with long hairy stamens, appear in clusters on long flowering stalks, and bloom between May and June. It has an extensive root system for a wildflower and can be valuable for controlling erosion. This plant is easy to grow and can spread aggressively, making it useful for filling in open areas.

Planting conditions

Virginia Waterleaf grows best in moist conditions with partial shade exposure. It prefers well-drained, organically rich loam soil types. It can tolerate full sun, full shade, and seasonally flooded areas. This wildflower can be naturally found in moist forests or along partially shaded shorelines.


  • Plant height:
    • Max 1.5m
    • Max 2m
    • Max 3m
    • Any
  • Moisture level:
    • Moist
  • Light conditions:
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Loamy
  • pH:
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Wildflower
  • Eco Zone:
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
  • Plant type:
    • Wildflower
  • Height:
    • 50 cm
  • Spread:
    • 1 m