Hydrolea ovata


Ovate false fiddlehead (Hydrolea ovata) is a native aquatic armed perennial in the Hydrophyllaceae. It is also called blue water leaf and hairy hydrolea. The leaves are alternate, simple, and have pinnate major veins. The inflorescence is a terminal cyme and the flowers are perfect and regular, with five sepals, five blue petals, and five stamens. The ovary is superior, and the fruit is a capsule with numerous tan seeds. I remember my first encounter with this genus when I learned while trying to collect it that it had spines. This species (ovata) is reported from 38 parishes but Hydrolia uniflora, is reported from 52 and Hydrolea quadrivalvis, from 7 parishes only all east of the Mississippi River. Hydrolea ovata is fairly common in west central Louisiana and a little has been transplanted into the pond on Allen Acres.