Hydrophyllum virginianum is a perennial herb, 30-80 cm (usually low, sprawling); colonial from a rhizome; stems finely hairy.
Leaves alternate, 10-20 cm long, and about as wide, pinnately 5-7 parted, irregularly lobed, margin toothed, petiole base enfolds stem, new leaves produced in late fall after leaf drop (Brundrett and Kendrick 1988).
Flowers pale violet to white, radially symmetrical, 5-parted, calyx slightly hairy, fused at base, corolla fused at base, 0.7-1 cm long, stamens and style protrude beyond corolla lobes; inflorescence of compact clusters on stalks longer than leaves; blooms May-June.
Fruit initially green, becoming dry, a round capsule to 0.4 cm wide (Radford et al. 1968) with 1-3 seeds.
Wetland status: FAC.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Moist to wet, open woods, stream banks.
Range: Quebec to ND, S to NC.