Hydrocotyle laxiflora: is a member of the Apiaceae family in company with Flannel Flowers, Trachymene, Fennel and Parsnips.
Hydrocotyle laxiflora is known by the rather unflattering name of Stinking Pennywort. The species is a perennial herb with creeping rhizomes* that take root at the nodes. The leaves arise singly along the rhizome, are almost circular and hairy. The flower heads are one to two centimetres across and more or less globular umbels (the flowers are held at the same level), greenish and held on long hairy stalks. The flowers are said to have a strong, offensive odour. There may be something wrong with our sense of smell but we donít find the odour offensive. In the summer flowering period the flowers give off an elusive scent that carries for long distances just after sunset. Individual flowers are small and insignificant.
Hydrocotyle laxiflora prefers shady, moist places. It is useful as a ground cover in shady areas where other plants will not grow. Be careful when planting this species as it may become a trifle rampant.
Hydrocotyle laxiflora is native to Yallaroo where it does grow thickly in shady situations. We do not plant the species, in our gardens, but prefer to leave it in peace growing in our regenerating bushland.
Propagate from seed, cuttings or by rhizome division.
*Rhizome: an underground stem.