Virginia Pennywort

Obolaria virginica

Virginia Pennywort is an uncommon spring ephemeral and native perennial that occurs in the southeast, from Pennsylvania, south to Florida and west to Texas.  In Maryland, this plant is only found in the Piedmont and the western shore coastal plain.  The easy to overlook plant has pale green leaves, with little chlorophyll and white flowers, and is partially saprophytic, obtaining nutrients from decaying humus.  It is also mycotrophic, relying on mycorrhizal fungi in the soil to get its nutrients.

Having seen this plant on several occasions now, I note that I’ve only observed it in mature, old-growth type forest stands.