Justicia americana Justicia americana
Classification Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheophyta
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Subclass Asteridae
Order Scrophulariales
Family Acanthaceae
Genus Justicia
Species Justicia americana
Water willow

Date: XXXXXXXX XXXX. Location: XXXXXXXXX (map)


Scientific Name: Justicia americana; synonyms; Named for James Justice an 18th century botanist.

Common Name: Water willow (not a member of the willow genus [Salix] but similar with its narrow leaves and preference for a wet habit).

Origin: Native, perennial

Notes: J. americana is a hydrophyte and is rare in Iowa. It has been reported a few times in S.E. Iowa—the preferred habitat being sandy/pebbly river bars or shallow waters bordering ponds or streams. The plants spread by rhizomes and are often found in colonies. The species is frequent in Missouri and Illinois.

Additional references: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

Field Marks for Identification:

Flowers: June; corolla two lipped—the lower lip with 3 lobes, white with purple markings; calyx lobes slender 2-9 mm long; stamen 2; flowers subtended by triangular bracts less than 2 mm long (smaller than the calyces); inflorescence stalks much longer than the petiole of the subtending leafs; fruit, a 2-locular capsule; seeds usually 4, circular, brown, pebbled.

Leaves: lanceolate tapered at both ends, short petiolate or sessile, up to 8 inches long and one inch wide,

Glossaries of botanical terms: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

Water willow-1 Water willow-2 Water willow-3 Water willow-4