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Obolaria virginica

Obolaria virginica L.


Virginia Pennywort

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderGentianalesGentians, coffee, gardenias, frangipani, many others
FamilyGentianaceaeAbout 1600 species of flowering plants from the genus Gentiana, named after the Illyrian king Gentius

About plant names...

Virginia pennywort is a North American native. The genus Obolaria is from the Greek obolos (ὀβολός), or “small coin,” since the leaves are coin-like in shape.

Identification: Plants are 4-10" (10-25 cm) high, often less than 6" (15 cm), nestled amongst the leaf litter on moist forest floors, where they are easily overlooked. Stems are pale green to purplish. Plants have opposite green or purplish green leaves that are roundish or spatula-shaped. Flowers are white or purplish, appearing in March to June.

Online References:

Obolaria virginica on North Carolina Wildflowers, Shrubs, & Trees, by Jeff Pippen

Obolaria virginica on Discover Life

Obolaria virginica on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource (many photos)

Obolaria virginica on www.mbc.edu

Obolaria virginica at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Obolaria virginica on Missouriplants.com

Obolaria virginica at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Obolaria virginica description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Obolaria virginica (Virginia Pennywort)

5/15/1979 · VA · By Tim Chandler


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