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Mock bishopsweed, Herbwilliam
Ptilimnium capillaceum

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

General Landscape Uses: Primarily recommended for natural landscapes and habitat restorations. Also wet wildflower and butterfly gardens.

Availability: Grown by enthusiasts and occasionally by native plant nurseries.

Description: Small to medium annual herb.

Dimensions: About 6-18 inches in height. Usually taller than broad.

Growth Rate: Fast.

Range: Eastern and central United States west to Texas and south to Miami-Dade and Collier counties; West Indies.

Plant Map Map of select IRC data from peninsular Florida.

Habitats: Swamps and wet disturbed sites.

Soils: Wet to moist, well-drained to poorly-drained sandy or organic soils, with humusy top layer.

Nutritional Requirements: Moderate; can grow in nutrient poor soils, but needs some organic content to thrive.

Salt Water Tolerance: Low; does not tolerate flooding by salt or brackish water.

Salt Wind Tolerance: Low; salt wind may burn the leaves.

Drought Tolerance: Low; requires moist to wet soils and is intolerant of long periods of drought.

Light Requirements: Full sun.

Flower Color: White.

Flower Characteristics: Semi-showy.

Flowering Season: All year.

Fruit: A pair of inconspicuous carpels pendent from a supporting axis.

Wildlife and Ecology: Larval host plant for black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) butterflies.

Comments: This self seeds and can be somewhat weedy. See also the Florida Wildflower Foundation's Flower Friday page. See a 2019 post on the Treasure Coast Natives blog on dominant mudflat species including mock bishopsweed.

Copyright by: Roger L. Hammer

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Shirley Denton

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Copyright by: Keith A. Bradley

Other data on Ptilimnium capillaceum available from:

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