Moneywort
Lysimachia nummulariaPrimulaceae
Flower
Flower
Photos (c) Cheryl Comeau Beaton unless otherwise noted

Synonyms:

  • Creeping Jenny

The Plant:

  • A perennial, herbaceous, creeping plant, growing no more than 2-4 inches high but capable of forming large mats.

The Leaves:

  • opposite
  • nearly sessile
  • round to kidney shaped
  • 1 to 3 cm long

The Stem:

  • smooth
  • creeping

The Flowers:

  • Yellow flowers with small dark red spots and five, occasionally six, spreading petals. Flowers are solitary and held in the leaf axils. The pedicels are the same length as the leaves, 0.8 to 1.2 inches wide. Sepals are ovate to triangular in shape. Blooms from June to August, but may not flower at all.

The Fruits:

  • small, spherical capsule
  • brown

The Habitat:

  • early successional forests, floodplain forests
  • herbaceous wetlands, wet meadows
  • shores of lakes, ponds, rivers or streams
  • roadsides, yard or garden
  • grows most vigorously in moist areas

Dispersal:

  • seeds are spread through water, birds or humans
  • also reproduces vegetatively via creeping stems
  • sometimes planted

Key ID Features:

  • 5 to 6 petals
  • single, yellow flower with small dark red spots
  • smooth creeping stems
  • entire (toothless) leaf margins

Similar Species:

  • The following are similar to Moneywort in their creeping growth habits but have distinct differences. Common gypsyweed (Veronica officinalis) has hairy stems, toothed leaf margins and multiple light blue flowers held in the leaf axils
  • Gill-over-the-ground (Glechoma hederacea) has minutely hairy stems, round to kidney shaped leaves, and blue-violet flowers held in the leaf axils
  • Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) has smooth stems like Moneywort, round toothless leaves and white terminal flowers.

Notes:

  • This species is commonly planted as a ground cover in moist sunny sites around garden/backyard ponds. It spreads quickly by its creeping stems and forms dense mats of vegetation that can threaten native vegetation within moist habitats. It also has the ability to invade lawns and gardens.
  • This species is not known on Nantucket as of December 2006.

Growth Form: Herb

Origin: Europe, Southwest Asia

Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Potential Invasive

Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Invasive

Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: importation ban July 2006, propagation ban January 2009




Credits: The Electronic Field Guide to the Invasive Plants of Nantucket (c) 2005-2006 Maria Mitchell Association, EFG Project, UMass Boston