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Close up of leaves

Pilea pumila

Common Name: Clearweed 
Family: Urticaceae

Description: Annual herb with fibrous roots. Named for its translucent stem
The egg shaped leaves are found opposite each other. They are coarsely toothed, with three main veins and grow up to four inches long. The top is green to dark green, while the underside can be light green or even white. 
The flowers appear between July and October. They are found in small drooping clusters. They range in color from white to greenish.
Flattened, green with purple marks and up to 1/12 inches long.
Stem: The characteristic smooth translucent stem is erect and usually unbranched.
Branching Pattern:
Height: 4-20 inches
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Found in moist shady places in floodplain forest, around ponds and along streams.
Known Wildlife Interactions: None
Range:  Found along the east coast from Maine to Florida and west to Texas and North Dakota. It is also found in South Ontario and Quebec
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide:  Not threatened in either U.S. or globally.
Uses (Human): None

Newcomb, Lawrence. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. 1977. pg 438

Redington, Charles B. Plants in Wetlands. Redington Field Guides. 1994. pg 382

Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains.  February 23, 2005.  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center.  Accessed:  February 28, 2006. <>

The Pennsylvania Flora Project.  Botany Department, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.  Accessed:  February 28, 2006. <>

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species <>

This page was created by: A. Coiro, Muhlenberg College
Photos by: L. Rosenberg, edited by N. Smith
Last updated 04/25/06