Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Flowers: Pennywort

I had either never noticed Obolaria virginica (Pennywort) on the Weakley Hollow Fire Road or had never been up there at the right time to see it before.  On our hike up to Robertson Mountain on Saturday, SSW Spouse noticed it and after that, we saw it everywhere along the road.  It blends in to the leaf litter a little bit and it isn't a very big plant.  Most of the ones we saw were less than six inches tall.  The flowers are white, have four petals, and are about the size of one's pinky fingernail.  O. virginica is found in the eastern U.S. from Pennsylvania south and west to Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas.  It is a member of the Gentian family. The common and scientific names reflect the coin-like appearance of its leaves (Obolus is Greek for coin).

 Obolaria virginica plants along the Weakley Hollow Fire Road.
Another plant along the fire road.

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