Savannah false pimpernel
Pictured above: Savannah false pimpernel (Lindernia grandiflora) taken at Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area. Photo by Stacey Matrazzo. Click on terms for botanical definitions. View post as a PDF
Savannah false pimpernel is a low-growing, mat-forming wildflower found in moist pinelands, marshes and swamps. Its diminutive yet flamboyant flowers bloom year-round, peaking in spring. They attract small insects; however, they are primarily self-pollinated. The plant is also known as Blue moneywort and Angel’s tears.
Savannah false pimpernel flowers are solitary, pedicellate and axillary. The tubular corolla is small (less than ½ inch), purplish-white and two-lipped. Its lower lip has three wide-spreading lobes with dark blue or purple blotches. The upper lip is much shorter, purple and notched. The throat is dark purple with two yellow ridges that are covered in hairs. Flowers are subtended by five linear sepals. Leaves are bright green, fleshy and ovate to almost cordate. They are oppositely arranged and clasping. Stems are thin and generally prostrate. They creep along the ground and set roots where contact is made. Seeds are born in an inconspicuous capsule.
The genus Lindernia is an homage to Franz Balthasar von Lindern (1682–1755), a French-German botanist and physician who was the first to detail a member of the genus. The species epithet grandiflora means “large flower,” and refers to the flower size as it compares with other species of Lindernia. The family Linderniaceae is relatively new. Its members were previously included in the Scrophulariaceae family, and before that, in the Plantaginaceae family.
Native range: Franklin, Jefferson, Leon, Taylor and most peninsular counties
To see where natural populations of Savannah false pimpernel have been vouchered, visit florida.plantatlas.usf.edu.
Hardiness: Zones 8A–10B
Soil: Moist to wet, well- to poorly drained soils
Exposure: Full sun to minimal shade
Growth habit: Up to 3” tall with 6–24” spread
Propagation: Seed, cuttings, division
Garden tips: Savannah false pimpernel is best suited for naturalistic or restoration plantings, particularly along pond edges and other moist, open sites where it can spread freely. It also does well in a pot or hanging basket.
Plants are occasionally available from nurseries that specialize in Florida native plants. Visit www.PlantRealFlorida.org to find a nursery in your area.