What is a Pennywort?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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Pennywort is a type of plant typically considered a weed. It is classified as a perennial, meaning it comes back every year, and it can be very difficult to control once established. The leaves are generally 1 inch (3 cm) in diameter, round, glossy, and dark green with scalloped edges. It can be found in most parts of North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. This plant typically thrives in very wet conditions, and is capable of growing in the water.

It is also possible to identify these plants by their white flowers. There are typically five to ten petals per stalk, and the blooming period is either year round or during warm weather depending on the type of pennywort and climate. The weed looks very similar to another type of plant called dichondra, which is unrelated. The main difference between the two plants is the location of the stem. Dichondra stems are connected to the leaf at the edge, whereas pennywort stems are attached at the center.

There are several types of post-emergent herbicides often used for eliminating pennywort. A post-emergent herbicide is a herbicide that is applied after the plant begins to grow. Herbicides that contain the chemicals glyphosate or atrazine are normally considered most effective. There are other options available to people who do not want to use chemicals for their weed problems. Some people claim to have had success using vinegar and table sugar on their lawns for pennywort removal.


Taking preventative measures against this plant before it becomes established could save a person the hassle of trying to get rid of it later. This weed is most often found in weak soils with poor drainage. It is possible to decrease the amount of moisture present in a lawn by improving air circulation with the use of an aerator. These tools are typically easy to use and may be either purchased or rented. Hand-pulling pennywort from the root may also help to prevent it from spreading, but this method is usually very time consuming and labor intensive.

Water pennywort can also be difficult to control once it begins to grow. This variety is usually found in lakes, marshes, ponds, or any other area with slow-moving water. It is considered beneficial in some areas because it provides habitat for aquatic invertebrates, and is also occasionally used as an ornamental plant. People who want to eliminate this type of pennywort may find it more difficult than eliminating the lawn variety. Herbicides are normally effective, but there may be a risk of killing fish and other aquatic life along with the pennywort.


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Post 1

My husband transplanted some of this plant in my flower gardens and it has taken over - very aggressive. How can I get rid of it?

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