Limnanthes

Scientific name

Limnanthes R. Br.

Common names

meadowfoam

Family

Limnanthaceae

Similar genera

Oenanthe, Potentilla, Ranunculus

Native distribution

western North America

Species cultivated

Limnanthes douglasii R. Br.

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

not weedy

Habit

amphibious, emergent herb

Brief description

Annual in vernal pools. Stems ascending to erect, sparsely to densely branched, glabrous to densely hairy. Leaves mainly basal; petiolate; 1- or 2-pinnate, leaflets 2- to 3-lobed, especially lower ones; leaflet blade linear to ovate; margins entire. Flower axillary, pedicellate, typically cup-shaped to campanulate, white, yellow, or yellow with white tips; sepals (4) 5, lanceolate to ovate, apex acute to acuminate, glabrous or densely villous; petals (4) 5, usually longer than sepals, obovate, apex emarginate to obcordate, jagged, glabrous or with 2 rows of hairs basally, veins hyaline, yellow or purplish, usually with scattered long hairs; stamens 8 or 10; ovary 4 or 5-lobed.

Natural habitat

vernally or permanently wet meadows, springs, bogs, and along streams

Additional comments

Limnanthes contains less than 10 species, although there is some variation among some species. Limnanthes may form dense carpets in seasonally vernal pools, which dry out during the warmer months.