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Loose clusters 2 to 3 inches across of pinkish purple to lavender flowers at the tips of stems and branches that arise above the leaves. The terminal flowers in the cluster open first (cyme). Flowers are ½ to ¾ inch across, saucer to bell shaped, with 5 oval petals fused at the base, 5 slender white stamens with dark purplish tips.Calyx and stalks are hairy, the 5 calyx lobes narrowly triangular and about 2/3 as long as the petals, with small, folded back appendages alternating with the lobes.Leaves are simple and alternate, oval to round in outline. Lower leaves are 2 to 6 inches long and wide, on a long stalk with 5 to 7 dominant lobes and shallower lobes along the edges, all lobes pointed at the tip with shallow, irregular teeth around the edges. Upper leaves are reduced in size, often just 3 shallow lobes. Upper leaf surface is covered with soft scattered hairs. Stems are weak and covered in long hairs, the mass of branches often supported by surrounding vegetation.
Part shade, shade, rich woods
Hydrophyllum appendiculatum inhabits shady, moist ravines and is common in stream valleys of Minnesota's southeast driftless region. Late May to early June is a good time to search for this in Whitewater State Park in Winona County. It is easy to distinguish from the related Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum) by the leaf shape and the small reflexed appendages on the calyx.