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Virginia Buttonweed, Large Buttonweed, Poor Joe - Diodia virginiana


Family: Rubiaceae - Madder family Genus Common Name: Buttonweed Native Status: NativeHerb
Diodia virginiana - Virginia Buttonweed, Large Buttonweed, Poor Joe. There are 8 species of Diodia - Buttonweed - found in the United States, although only four of these are found in the "states proper" - the other 4 species are found in the U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Two species found on the mainland are native to the United States - Diodia teres (common names Rough Buttonweed and Poor Joe,) and this species Virginia Buttonweed, Diodia virginiana.

While this plant is officially listed as Threatened or Endangered in Indiana and New Jersey, it also is considered a weed by some authorities, and I can attest to its weediness, with the example here photographed in an area it had taken over in a small garden patch we had. It is noteworthy, however, that it was subsequently pushed out by the much more aggressive non-native invasive Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea.) Virginia Buttonweed is a branching, sprawling plant with opposite leaves.

Found in:
AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

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Diodia virginiana

Distribution of Diodia virginiana in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 29 Apr 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2004-July-02Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Virginia Buttonweed has an angular stem which is hairy on the angles. The four white petals are also hairy.
Diodia virginiana

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer