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Twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla)


Jeffersonia diphylla, commonly called twinleaf, is a somewhat uncommon spring woodland wildflower that is native from New York to Wisconsin south to Alabama and Virginia. It is usually found in limestone soils in rich damp woods. It is a clump-forming plant that typically grows to 8- tall when in flower in early spring, but continues to grow thereafter eventually reaching 18- tall by the time its fruit ripens. Features long-stemmed, blue-green basal leaves (to 6- long) which are deeply divided into two lobes that give the appearance of being two separate leaves, hence the common name. In early spring (April), white cup-shaped flowers (1- diameter) bloom singly atop rigid leafless stalks to 8- tall. Each flower has eight petals. Flowers are somewhat reminiscent of bloodroot, but the plants are unrelated and in different families. Fruit is an interesting pear-shaped dehiscent pod with a lid.

Taxonomic tree

  • Domain: Eukarya

    • Kingdom: Plantae

      • Phylum: Magnoliophyta

        • Class: Magnoliopsida

          • Order: Ranunculales

            • Family: Berberidaceae

              • Genus: Jeffersonia