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Photo: Limosella australis

Limosella australis (R.) Br.

Mudwort

Habitat: Fresh to brackish shores and wet sands. [Tidal wetland (non-forested, wetland)]

Range: Newfoundland, Gulf of St. Lawrence, south along coast to Virginia.

Photo: Limosella australis

Aids to Identification: Mudwort is a small annual that grows in clumps of narrow, fleshy leaves (2-5 cm high) surrounding tiny, five-petalled, white flowers on naked pedicels. It may occur singly or in patches of clumps connected by above-mud runners.

Ecological characteristics: Mudwort is tolerant of both completely fresh and moderately saline water. In Maine, it most often grows in the mid to lower intertidal zone where it is completely submerged at high tide. Apparently preferring open mud, it usually has few immediate associates, but may form colonies of many plants a few centimeters apart, connected by the fragile runners.

Photo: Limosella australis

Phenology: Flowers July - October.

Family: Plantaginaceae (formerly in Veronicaceae)

Synonyms: Formerly known as Limosella subulata Ives, Limosella aquatica L. var. tenuifolia Hoffman.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 17 town(s) in the following county(ies): Hancock, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Sagadahoc, Waldo, York.

Dates of documented observations are: 1916, 1982, 1983 (3), 1984 (2), 1985 (4), 1986, 1988, 1990 (4), 1991 (4), 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998 (7), 1999 (2), 2000

Photo: Limosella australis

Reason(s) for rarity: Habitat naturally scarce, and in some areas declining.

Conservation considerations: Prevent degradation of estuary habitat from adjacent land uses.