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The attractive leaves of Water Pennywort resemble those of Nasturtiums – an introduced horticultural plant that is often cultivated in flower gardens. However, this resemblance is superficial, as they are members of different plant families. The expression 'Pennywort' refers to a European species with smaller leaves; Water Pennywort has larger leaves that are about the same size as a silver dollar. There are several Hydrocotyle spp. (Pennyworts) that occur in scattered areas of the Midwest; these are mostly wetland species. Because they appear similar to each other, it can be difficult to distinguish these species. Some Pennyworts have peltate leaf blades (i.e., their petioles join the middle of the leaf blades, remaining remote from the leaf margins), while other Pennyworts have non-peltate leaf blades (i.e., their petioles join the edge of the leaf blades where the leaf margin occurs). Water Pennywort is deceptive in this regard

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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