Lysimachia nummularia

A creeping, ground-covering loosestrife originating from Europe

Lysimachia nummularia creeping-charlie

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is invasive in PA

This perennial, evergreen, trailing or creeping vine was introduced from Europe and has naturalized throughout the United States primarily in the northeast. The species is documented in most counties in Pennsylvania. It is a member of the primrose family. It has small, round, shining leaves that occur in pairs. Each leaf is ½ to 1 inch in diameter. The stems may be up to 24 inches long.

The species name is derived from the Latin word “nummus” that means coin and is also reflected by its common name moneywort. This is a reference to the round shape of the leaves of this plant that have the shape and size of coins. Beginning in June this plant produces yellow flowers with five petals on slender stalks. These flowers vary in size from ½ to 1 inch and are found singly or in pairs growing from the leaf axils. There are five petals often dotted with dark red or black. There are also five stamens.

The plant grows in moist grasslands, lawns, and roadsides, preferring areas of partial shade. Although vine-like it does not climb. It takes well to cultivation and can be planted in both rock gardens and in hanging baskets that are drier than its normal wild habitat. It can, however, spread aggressively, frequently forming new roots from the prostrate stems. It is cold-tolerant, surviving winter temperatures down to -40 degrees F.

Traditionally the plant was used as a herbal treatment for wound healing and for kidney and gall stones. Some still use it today as a gout treatment. The science behind these claims is less certain. 

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

Common weed of lawns, meadows, wet woods and flood plains.

Present throughout the state.

Wetland codes

Flowers late May through October.