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Hottonia inflata

Hottonia inflata
Hottonia inflata
Hottonia inflata

Thank you again to David Smith of Delaware, USA for sharing photographs from his state of residence (originals via the BPotD submissions forum). Much appreciated, David.

I was surprised to learn that Hottonia inflata, aka American featherfoil, is a member of the Primulaceae, like Dodecatheon pulchellum and Androsace pyrenaica. Two species of Hottonia are recognized: the eastern North American Hottonia inflata and the Eurasian Hottonia palustris, or water violet.

Despite its North American distribution, little information is available about this annual aquatic online: the best sources seem to be this rare plant factsheet (PDF) via the Maine Natural Areas program and this article from the Connecticut Botanical Society.


A primrose? North America? Where have I been??

OMG - that plant is spectacular! The second photo especially.

once again we have a plant that
is in danger - liveing in florida
i have seen this plant in the early
times when i moved here

picture number two very good indeed

thank you

Wow! An ingigenous North American primrose. Thanks to BPotD, we learn something new every day.
Great work and accolades to Daniel and his many colleague contributors.

wow!! fabulous plant! i'd never have thought it was a primrose!!

I absolutely love this little gem. It is made up, it seems to me, of at least three different plants, as though it hadn't completely made up it's mind as to where it wanted to go, so, there it sits, in it's own special glory. Thanks for sharing.

....holy Menorah...Judas Maccabeus...what an awesome plant....!

I agree, a delightful plant! The photo sequence presented a series of pleasant surprises.

I particularly like the ferny structures just below the water surface (2nd photo). Are these roots? Does the entire plant float on the water, or is it rooted into the earth below?

Could you give an idea of the scale -- i.e., what is the typical height of this plant, from water level to top? Looks like maybe about 12 inches...?

What everyone else said! ;->

Incredible shots!

I love the daily education here!

What a treat to see these lovely photographs. This species is S1 in NH so I've not had an opportunity to see it. The Flora illustrations don't do it justice and it is omitted from most field guides. Gleason and Cronquist state "stems ordinarily submersed, to 5 dm". The ferny structures are deeply pinnatifid submersed leaves. They don't really say how much is above water, but the flowers are tiny, the corolla is 4-5 mm (hence its omission from the more basic field guides). The companion Holmgren Illustrated Flora shows it to be about 6" tall.

Thanks for the compliments on the photos! The plants extend about 6 inches / 15 cm above the water. The feathery leaves had decayed on most of the plants, it took a bit of looking to find a pretty one. The stem is underwater and is somewhat fragile -- I unintentionally broke the one in the middle photo. The site is a beaver pond and there must be at least a thousand plants there, yet the species is S2 in Delaware (6-20 known populations.)


Is there a sense for why the plant is so rare? Standard things like wetlands/habitat loss or something else?

Any chance of tracking one of these down for my little container water garden?

These photographs are just great. Impressive to show the flower up close and go to each of the other pictures. I also found the fact sheet from Maine department of Conservation to be most helpful. I have relatives who live in this area. I will be going up next weekend to see what we can find. Thank you so much for all the imformation.
Thank you,

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