Lysimachia nummularia (Creeping Jenny)

Plant Info
Also known as: Moneywort
Genus:Lysimachia
Family:Myrsinaceae (Myrsine)
Life cycle:perennial
Origin:Europe
Status:
  • Weedy
Habitat:part shade, shade; moist woods, wetlands, along streams, lawns, gardens
Bloom season:June - August
Plant height:1 to 2 inches
Wetland Indicator Status:GP: FACW MW: FACW NCNE: FACW
MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):Minnesota county distribution map
National distribution (click map to enlarge):National distribution map

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Detailed Information

Flower: Flower shape: 5-petals

[photo of flowers] Flowers are cup-like in the leaf axils, about ¾ inch across, with 5 bright yellow, round petals slightly tapering to a point, the edges a bit ruffled, and the surface often speckled with deep red dots. 5 yellow stamens and a single pistil, mostly recessed with an erect, slender style, are in the center. The calyx with 5 broadly triangular lobes is hidden beneath the open flower, on a short stalk.

Leaves and stems: Leaf attachment: opposite Leaf type: simple

[photo of leaves] Leaves are evergreen, generally round, ¾ to 1 inch long and wide, in opposite pairs with smooth edges, on a short stalk. Surfaces are also smooth but with faint gland like dots. The stems are hairless, light green, creeping and many branched, rooting at the nodes and forming dense mats.

Notes:

Creeping Jenny, also commonly called Moneywort, has been popular in the garden trade as a hardy, dense ground cover, especially along shady margins where it blooms most of the summer. A rampant spreader, its can become weedy and when it escapes into natural habitats, its shade tolerance and evergreen characteristics give it great advantage over native woodland species, especially highly valued spring ephemerals. While more than a few gardeners have discovered its highly aggressive behavior to their own chagrin, its greatest potential for damage will be along riparian forests. We are fairly confident this species is under-reported in Minnesota.

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More photos

Photos by K. Chayka taken at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park, Anoka County, and at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Ramsey County.

Comments

Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?

Posted by: Jen - Stearns Co., Sauk River Chain of Lakes, south of Cold Spring
on: 2015-07-09 07:20:09

This is in the garden of the place we bought last year. I also just discovered it in the woods after taking out extensive buckthorn last winter. It's pretty. I wish it wouldn't spred so much. It'd be a good ground cover.

Posted by: John - Dakota County
on: 2015-08-29 20:06:26

On August 27, 2015 I ran across a small, sprawling ground-hugging plant in the middle of a trail in the woods near the Castle Rock in far southern Dakota County. It wasn't blooming and didn't notice any fruits. It was only about a half a foot across. I also noticed the same kind of plant(the same plant?) when I was there on May 20, 2015. Wasn't blooming then, either. I see that this would be a new record, if it is Moneywort. As a horticulturist, I'm familiar with the plant but this seemed more delicate with more space between the paired, round leaves. But from each node of the ground-creeping stem I took was a single, thin, straight root. Only later did I realize that I could have gotten a photo and GPS co-ordinates. But, then, it's only a garden escape.

Posted by: Deb - Carver - Rapids Lake Unit
on: 2016-06-26 15:02:52

On the Rapids Lake Unit trailbed

Posted by: Savanna - Mower County-Austin
on: 2017-06-23 09:31:06

Found at the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center. Plans to eradicate it are underway.

Posted by: Jodi - Bloomington
on: 2017-09-03 23:50:18

I just discovered a new weed in my yard this year, maybe this. Does it have an almost rubbery feel when you try to pull it, like you're stretching something elastic or rubber?

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