Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Aquatic perennial herbs, 5-35 cm tall, from rhizomes or stolons; stems fleshy, ribbed, and hollow; herbage glabrous; . Leaves: Petioles 5-35 cm long, emerging directly from stolons; each petiole topped with a round-reniform leaf blade, 2-5 cm wide, usually wider than long, deeply 3-7-lobed, the margins entire to minutely crenate. Flowers: Tiny and greenish-white to purplish, in tiny dense umbels at the tips of stalks that ascend directly from the stolons; stalks 1-5 cm long. Fruits: Capsules round to elliptic, 1-3 mm wide, obscurely ribbed. Ecology: Found on lake margins, near pools, ponds, and slow-moving streams, below 5,000 ft (1524 m); flowers March-August. Distribution: Eastern US from FL to NY, west to TX, OK, and NE; also found along the west coast from WA to CA and in AZ. Notes: This floating or aquatic plant has leaves that appear similar to some Mallow species, especially when they are mature. Look to the fruiting umbels to help identify this species. Appears similar to H. verticillata, but that species has peltate leaves (the stalk is attached to the middle of the leaf blade rather than the edge) and the flowers are arranged in whorls, with several whorls well-spaced along each flower stalk. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus have uses. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher2012, AHazelton 2015 Etymology: Hydrocotyle comes from the Greek hydor, "water," and kotyle, "a small cup", while ranunculoides means like genus Ranunculus.
Stems floating or creeping, rooting at the nodes; lvs round-reniform with a basal sinus, to 7 cm wide, 5-6-lobed to about the middle; peduncles well developed but shorter than the lvs; fls 5-10 per umbel, on pedicels 1-3 mm; fr suborbicular, 2-3 mm wide, the dorsal surface rounded and virtually ribless, the lateral ribs low and obtuse; 2n=24. Pa. and s. N.J. to Fla., w. through the s. states to the Pacific; S. Amer. May-Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.