Lysimachia nummularia L.

Common Name: Creeping jenny

Synonyms and Other Names:

Lysimachia zawadzkii Wiesner, Creeping jenny; Twopenny grass; Centimorbia; Monnoyere; Wandering Jenny; Creeping charlie



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Identification: Lysimachia nummularia is an herbaceous perennial. It is a low-growing, creeping ground cover which might form leafy mat. Roots where leaf nodes come in contact with the soil. This cultivar features rounded, slightly ruffled, yellow leaves (to 3/4" diameter). Profuse, cup-shaped, bright yellow flowers (to 3/4" across) appear in early summer.   Stems - Repent, tp +40cm long (and sometimes much longer), herbaceous, multiple from the base, typically simple, with 4 wings from deccurent leaf tissue. Wings to 0.7mm broad, forming vertical grooves along the sides of the stems.  Leaves - Opposite, petiolate. Petioles to +/-5mm long, glabrous, with a wide and shallow adaxial groove. Blades orbicular, to +/-2.5cm in diameter, glabrous, entire, somewhat cordate at the base, dark green above, lighter green below. Veins of the leaves impressed above, expressed below.   Inflorescence - Single axillary flowers. Peduncles to +/-2cm long, erect, glabrous.   Flowers - Petals typically 5 (sometimes 6), united at the very base and forming a small corolla tube. Tube to 1mm long. Free portion of petals glabrous, yellow, to +1.4cm long, 5-7mm broad, rounded at the apex, oblong-elliptic. Stamens 5(6), adnate at the base of the petals, erect, united at the base. Filaments yellow, broadest at the base and tapering to the apex, glandular puberulent, to 5mm long. Anthers yellow, to 2mm long. Ovary superior, green, glabrous, globose, 1.2mm in diameter. Style green, glabrous, 5mm long. Stigma small, purplish. Sepals 5(6), green, spreading, with the margins slightly revolute in the basal 1/2, ovate-lanceolate, acute to acuminate at the apex, to +/-7mm long, +/-5mm broad, glabrous.  

It is in flower from May to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by bees and flies. The plant is self-fertile.


Size: horizontal stems to 40cm+


Native Range: Eurasia.


Great Lakes Nonindigenous Occurrences: Common in the eastern United States. Widespread in many states, including the following in the Great Lakes region: IL, IN, MI, MN, NY, OH, and WI.

The first Great Lakes sighting occurred in 1882 in Lake Ontario (Mills 1993).


Table 1. Great Lakes region nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state/province, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Lysimachia nummularia are found here.

Full list of USGS occurrences

State/ProvinceFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
IN197620084Little Calumet-Galien; St. Joseph; St. Marys; Upper Maumee
MI1888201923Betsie-Platte; Boardman-Charlevoix; Clinton; Great Lakes Region; Kawkawlin-Pine; Little Calumet-Galien; Lower Grand; Manistee; Muskegon; Northeastern Lake Michigan; Northwestern Lake Huron; Pigeon-Wiscoggin; Raisin; Saginaw; Southcentral Lake Superior; Southeastern Lake Michigan; Southwestern Lake Huron; St. Clair; St. Clair-Detroit; St. Joseph; Tittabawassee; Upper Grand; Western Lake Erie
NY1882202217Cattaraugus; Chaumont-Perch; Eastern Lake Erie; Great Lakes Region; Indian; Irondequoit-Ninemile; Lake Ontario; Lower Genesee; Oak Orchard-Twelvemile; Oneida; Oswego; Oswego; Salmon-Sandy; Seneca; Southwestern Lake Ontario; St. Lawrence; Upper Genesee
OH2008202211Ashtabula-Chagrin; Auglaize; Black-Rocky; Blanchard; Cuyahoga; Huron-Vermilion; Lake Erie; Lower Maumee; Sandusky; Southern Lake Erie; Western Lake Erie
PA200820081Lake Erie
WI200720089Bad-Montreal; Black-Presque Isle; Fox; Northwestern Lake Michigan; Oconto; Pike-Root; Southwestern Lake Michigan; Upper Fox; Wolf

Table last updated 2/29/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.


Ecology: Habitats include stream banks, bottoms, seeps, fens, roadsides, ditches, woodland borders, thickets, moist areas of black soil prairies, cemeteries, and edges of yards (Campbell et al. 2010, Forest Service 2013). This species needs moist soils to grow (Missouri Botanical Garden 2012). It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade (Missouri Botanical Garden 2012). Elevation ranges between 0-3280 feet.

Lysimachia nummularia reproduces and vegetatively; plant fragments can flow downstream and develop into new plants (IPANE 2013, MISIN and MNFI 2013). As the stem grows horizontally along the ground, new roots develop at the steam nodes (IPANE 2013, Kennay and Fell 2011). North American populations are not known to produce seeds (IPANE 2013).

Moneywort remains green most of the year in the Great Lakes (Kennay and Fell 2011).


Means of Introduction: Deliberate release.


Status: Established where recorded.


Great Lakes Impacts:
Summary of species impacts derived from literature review. Click on an icon to find out more...

EnvironmentalSocioeconomicBeneficial



Current research on the environmental impact of Lysimachia nummularia in the Great Lakes is inadequate to support proper assessment.
Realized:
Lysimachia nummularia spreads quickly in moist ecosystems: floodplain forests, prairies, marshes, and swamps (IPANE 2013, Kennay and Fell 2011). This species forms dense mats of vegetation that excludes other herbaceous vegetation (IPANE 2013, Kennay and Fell 2011).

This species is not a preferred food source for any mammal species, but rabbits and groundhogs may eat it occasionally (Kennay and Fell 2011).

Potential:
It may occupy the same niche as Lysimachia radicans, which is endangered in Indiana (Indiana Natural Hertiage Database 2011).

Populations of moneywort can clog small springs (IPANE 2013).

Lysimachia spp. are susceptible to rust and leaf spots (Missouri Botantical Garden 2012).

There is little or no evidence to support that Lysimachia nummularia has significant socio-economic impacts in the Great Lakes.
Potential:
Historically is has been used as groundcover in the Northeast, but it quickly becomes a pest in gardens, pastures, and lawns (IPANE 2013).

There is little or no evidence to support that Lysimachia nummularia has significant beneficial effects in the Great Lakes.
Realized:
This species has been used for ornamental purposes because of the attractive yellow flowers and because the plant occasionally attracts bees (Missouri Botanical Garden 2013). Tea is made from the leaves and flowers, and is considered to be astringent, diuretic, and vulnerary.

Potential:
Saponins taken from the roots of L. nummularia suppress cancer cells growing in the prostate, brain, and lungs (Podolak et al. 2013).

Lysimachia nummularia is able to bioaccumulate mercury (Ribeyre and Boudou 1994).


Management: Regulations (pertaining to the Great Lakes)
New York Invasive Species council determined that this species has a very high ecological impact and recommends that this species be prohibited within the state (New York Invasive2010).

Note: Check federal, state/provincial, and local regulations for the most up-to-date information.

Control
Biological
There are no known biological control methods for this species.

Physical
Small populations can be pulled up by hand; all plant fragments should be removed to prevent resprouting (Kennay and Fell 2011, MISIN and MNFI 2013, PA DCNR n.d.).

A prescribed burning in the spring, when L. nummularia is green and native plants are still dormant, can be an effective means of control (Kennay and Fell 2011). This control method may need to be repeated for several years for complete control (Tu et al. 2001).

Given the growth structure of moneywort, mowing will not control this species (Kennay and Fell 2011, PA DCNR n.d.).
Planting native grasses after any physical control method could shade out any potential regrowth from moneywort (MISIN and MNFI 2013, PA DCNR n.d.).

Chemical
Rodeo® or Rodeo® will be effective at controlling L. nummularia (Padcnr)( Kennay and Fell 2011, PA DCNR n.d.)

Note: Check state/provincial and local regulations for the most up-to-date information regarding permits for control methods. Follow all label instructions.


References (click for full reference list)


Other Resources:
USGS/NAS Technical Species Profile

Illinois Plant Information Network (ILPIN).  Online: http://www.fs.fed.us/ne/delaware/ilpin/ilpin

USDA/NRCS PLANTS Database

Wisconsin vascular plants. Online: http://wiscinfo.doit.wisc.edu/herbarium/



Author: Cao, L, and L. Berent


Contributing Agencies:
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Revision Date: 8/19/2019


Citation for this information:
Cao, L, and L. Berent, 2024, Lysimachia nummularia L.: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, and NOAA Great Lakes Aquatic Nonindigenous Species Information System, Ann Arbor, MI, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/GreatLakes/FactSheet.aspx?Species_ID=2680, Revision Date: 8/19/2019, Access Date: 2/29/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.