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Large Buttonweed Diodia virginiana

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Diodia hirsuta Pursh
  • Diodia tetragona Walt.
Phonetic Spelling
dy-OH-dee-uh vir-jin-ee-AN-uh
Description

Diodia virginiana, or Virginia Buttonweed, is a native branching, sprawling plant with small white star-shaped flowers in the leaf axis. It can be found in swamps, wet meadows, marshes, coastal prairies, and in the mud along streams and ponds. It is considered a perennial weed by many and can show up as a weed in lawns and other disturbed areas of the south. However, it is listed as rare farther north in New Jersey and Indiana. It is enjoyed by bees. The tiny white flowers bloom in summer and fall.

There are 8 species of Virginia Buttonweed found in the United States, although only four of these are found in the continental United States. The other 4 species are found in the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Two species found on the mainland are native to the United States - Diodia teres (common names Rough Buttonweed and Poor Joe,) and Virginia Buttonweed, Diodia virginiana. Virginia Buttomweed resembles Diodia teres, but Virginia Buttonweed is more upright-growing, hairier, and has narrower leaves. Virginia buttonweed is native to the eastern U.S., reaching the northern edge of its range just south of New England. It has thick roots by which it can spread vegetatively.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

Leaves may be mottled yellow by a virus. Not recommended for the home landscape. Can be hard to eradicate because of underground parts that remain behind when you pull up the plant.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#white flowers#weed#weedy#fall interest#wetlands#year-round interest#NC native#summer flowers#ponds#autumn#wildflower garden#native weed#perennial weed
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#white#white flowers#weed#weedy#fall interest#wetlands#year-round interest#NC native#summer flowers#ponds#autumn#wildflower garden#native weed#perennial weed
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Diodia
    Species:
    virginiana
    Family:
    Rubiaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and Eastern United States to North East Mexico and Cuba
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Preferred host plant for some beetle species. Submerged portions provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates that are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). As dead aquatic plants decompose, it provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 6 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Weed
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Horizontal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The hairy, green fruit is an oval to an elliptic, leathery capsule containing two seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Half inch white or pale purple, funnel-shaped flowers with short hairs. Blooms June to December. Distinctive, four-parted white flowers borne in the leaf axils along floppy, squarish stems.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Semi-evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Fleshy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Narrow, stiff leaves with bristles at the base that are up to 3.5 inches long. Leaves are joined across the stem by a hairy tissue, and they sometimes are mottled yellow due to a virus.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Square
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Leaf Scar Shape:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are longitudinally ridged with hairs. Splitting branches up to 2 feet long. along the ridges.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Weedy