Photo and text submitted by Roger L. Hammer, Dade Chapter
Venus’ looking-glass is a native herbaceous annual with hairy, ribbed stems and ovate to elliptic, alternate, clasping leaves that reach about ⅜"–¾" long. The axillary, sessile, 5-lobed flowers measure about ⅜" across.
Look for this species from February into May, mostly along roadsides and other disturbed sites through the Florida panhandle, across the northern peninsula, and south in the peninsula to Pinellas, Hillsborough, Hardee, Polk, Osceola, and Volusia counties. Globally it ranges from Argentina northward throughout the United States into British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.
Native Americans made a tea of the roots and leaves to help relieve indigestion and also “to make one sick all day” as a treatment for overeating. The leaves were also smoked during ceremonies. Triodanis means “three-toothed” and possibly relates to the 3 calyx lobes on some flowe…