The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Virginia Waterleaf
Hydrophyllum virginianum is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Eastern N. America - Quebec and New England to Virginia, west to Tennessee and Kansas.
Rich woods and damp clearings[
Requires a moist humus-rich soil in semi-shade[
Slugs are particularly fond of this plant and will soon destroy it if given a chance[
Leaves - raw or cooked[
]. A bland flavour[
]. The mild-tasting and tender young leaves make a pleasant addition to the salad bowl[
], whilst older leaves make a good spinach[
]. Only use when young, they become bitter with age[
A tea made from the roots is astringent, it is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery etc[
]. A decoction, or the chewed root, has been used as a wash for cracked lips and sore mouths[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in early spring. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in spring or autumn[
]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.