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Pilea pumila

Pilea pumila (L.) A. Gray

 

Clearweed

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
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderUrticalesIncludes cannabis, nettles, mulberries, elms, others
FamilyUrticaceaeNettle family
GenusPileaMostly succulent herbs; from Greek pilos, “cap” (from the shape of some flower parts)
SpeciespumilaMeans “dwarf”

About plant names...

Clearweed is a North American native, a member of the nettle family.

Identification: Clearweed is 6-24" (15-60 cm) high, with smooth, round stems that are somewhat translucent. Leaves occur in opposite pairs, each 1-5" (2.5-12 cm) long by ½-2½" (1.3-6.3 cm) wide. Leaves are oval-shaped and coarse-toothed, with three prominent veins and textured leaves. The leaves are bright green, usually shiny, and become yellow in the fall. Both male and female flowers are found on each plant. Individual flowers are ⅛" (3.2 mm) long, greenish-white or greenish-yellow. They drop in narrow bunches from the axils of the upper leaves. These plants resemble other nettles, including stinging nettle, but they lack the hairs that cause the sting. See this article by Steve Brill on distinguishing among nettles and related plants.

 

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

8/22/2012 · Squanacook River Wildlife Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

8/22/2012 · Squanacook River Wildlife Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

8/22/2012 · Squanacook River Wildlife Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 6 × 4" (15 × 10 cm) ID is uncertain

Here are some similar species:
 
Laportea canadensis

Acalypha rhomboidea
You are here
Pilea pumila
Common Name

Wood Nettle

Three-seeded Mercury

Clearweed
Plant 24-48" (60-121 cm) high. Stems have stiff white hairs that sting if you rub against them. 6-24" (15-60 cm) tall, with a stem that is hairless or covered with fine white hairs. Bracts beneath flowers, stems, and leaf undersides turn copper-colored. 6-24" (15-60 cm) high, with smooth, round, translucent stems. They do not have stinging hairs.
Flowers Greenish-white, appearing from July to September. Flowers are greenish-tan, and tiny—less than ⅛" (3.2 mm) across. They flower from July to October. Both male and female flowers are on each plant. Fowers are ⅛" (3.2 mm) long, greenish-white or greenish-yellow, hanging in narrow bunches from the axils of the upper leaves.
Leaves Alternating, up to 4" (10 cm) × 6" (15 cm), egg-shaped, with coarse serrations. Leaves are alternate, lance-like or oval with sharp tips, 3½" (8.9 cm) × 1" (2.5 cm), with blunt serrations. Leaves occur in opposite pairs, each 1-5" (2.5-12 cm) long by ½-2½" (1.3-6.3 cm) wide. Leaves are oval-shaped and coarse-toothed, with three prominent veins and textured leaves. The leaves are bright green, usually shiny, and become yellow in the fall.
Range/ Zones

Habitats Moist woods, streambanks. Open woods, moist soils, gravel bars, waste ground, roadsides, railroads. Wet upland or floodplain forests, crevices in rocky canyons, and shady wetlands, streambanks.
Type Wild Wild Wild

 

Online References:

Pilea pumila on Missouriplants.com

Pilea pumila at Illinois Wildflowers

Pilea pumila at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Pilea pumila on Southeastern Flora, the Southeastern U.S. Plant Identification Resource

Pilea pumila on Ontario Wildflowers

Pilea pumila at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Pilea pumila at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Pilea pumila on Keir Morse's site, Keirosity.com

References:

Newcomb, Lawrence, Morrison, Gordon (Illus.), Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, Little, Brown and Company, 1977, p. 438

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

8/8/2010 · Jeff Smith Trail, Beaver Brook Association Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 4 × 6" (10 × 16 cm) ID is uncertain

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

10/17/2016 · Ice Glen, Stockbridge, MA
≈ 6 × 10" (16 × 24 cm)

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

8/22/2012 · Squanacook River Wildlife Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

8/18/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Pilea pumila description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 21 Oct 2016.

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Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

8/18/2012 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 8" (13 × 19 cm)

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

10/17/2016 · Ice Glen, Stockbridge, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (18 × 12 cm)

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

8/8/2010 · Jeff Smith Trail, Beaver Brook Association Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 7 × 11" (18 × 28 cm) ID is uncertain

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

8/22/2012 · Squanacook River Wildlife Area, Townsend, MA
≈ 7 × 4½" (17 × 11 cm) ID is uncertain

Pilea pumila (Clearweed)

8/8/2010 · Jeff Smith Trail, Beaver Brook Association Conservation Lands, Rte. 130, Hollis, NH
≈ 7 × 10" (16 × 25 cm) ID is uncertain

Range:

About this map...