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Northern Inside-out Flower Vancouveria hexandra


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Northern Inside-out Flower
credit: Walter Siegmund/CCSA

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Alternate name: White Inside-out Flower

Family: Berberidaceae, Barberry view all from this family

Description White flowers like shooting stars, in open clusters on smooth stalks supported by leafless stems, and leathery, pinnately compound leaves that grow in patches.
Habit: native perennial herb; low, mat-forming, rhizomatous.
Height: 6-20 in (15-50 cm)
Leaf: opposite, basal, compound, long stalked, 4-16 in (10-40 cm) long; 2x or 3x divided, usually twice divided into 9-15 leaflets; leaflets shaped like duck feet or ivy; leaves fall when fruit matures.
Flower: small, white or cream, delicate, nodding, on thin stem, 0.5 in (12 mm) tall; 6 petals and sepals fold back sharply behind pistil and 6 stamens forming a point; 10-30 flowerheads per plant.
Fruit: follicle, 0.5 in (1 cm) long, purple, hairy, enclosing 1/8 in (3 mm) black seeds.

Flower May to July.

Flower May - June

Habitat Moist or dry locations in deep shade: Douglas fir and redwood forests, old growth or second growth conifers; 300-5600 ft (100-1700 m); also cultivated as an ornamental groundcover.

Range Native to the West Coast, from Seattle south to Mendocino County; Washington, Oregon and California.

Discussion Also known as white inside-out flower, duckfoot, redwood ivy. This genus has only 3 species; in mild climates they make excellent ground cover for woodland gardens. Golden Inside-out Flower (V. chrysantha) has yellow flowers.

Comments A vigorous ground cover.

Exposure Preference Shade.

Native Distribution S. end of Puget Sound, w. of the Cascades to n.w. California

Site Preference Moist to drier, shady woods

Soil Preference Damp to mesic soils.