Herb: Virginia Waterleaf

Latin name: Hydrophyllum virginianum

Family: Hydrophyllaceae (Waterleaf Family)

Medicinal use of Virginia Waterleaf:

A tea made from the roots is astringent, it is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery etc. A decoction, or the chewed root, has been used as a wash for cracked lips and sore mouths.

Description of the plant:


60 cm
(2 feet)


Habitat of the herb:

Rich woods and damp clearings.

Edible parts of Virginia Waterleaf:

Leaves - raw or cooked. A bland flavour. The mild-tasting and tender young leaves make a pleasant addition to the salad bowl, whilst older leaves make a good spinach. Only use when young, they become bitter with age.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in early spring. Sow stored seed as early in the year as possible. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division in spring or autumn. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Cultivation of Virginia Waterleaf:

Rich woods and damp clearings.

Known hazards of Hydrophyllum virginianum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.