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Moneywort

(Lysimachia nummularia or L. nummelaria)

Photo of moneywort
Photo credit: Elizabeth J. Czarapata

Creeping, low-growing perennial with round, opposite leaves and yellow flowers.

Overview

Other names for this plant include:
  • Common names: Creeping Jenny, creeping Joan, running Jenny, wandering Jenny, wandering sailor
  • Scientific names: None.
Ecological threat:
  • Invades moist forests, woodland edges, floodplain forests, swamps, wet meadows, fens, stream borders, lawns, roadside ditches and grasslands.
  • Moneywort has been known to choke small springs and seeps in rich woods due to its rapid spread and ability to form dense layers.
  • This species is capable of rapid vegetative spread that can form dense, low-growing mats.
  • This species forms a dense ground cover layer, thereby altering the plant community structure and reducing the population size of some native species in the herb layer.
  • Noted as an invasive species throughout much of the United States.
Overview map of moneywort classification in WI
Restricted (orange) counties

Classification in Wisconsin: Restricted (the cultivar Aurea and yellow and gold leaf forms are exempt).

Species Assessment Groups (SAG) were assembled to recommend a legal classification for each species considered for NR 40. The recommendation for moneywort was based upon this literature review [PDF] developed by the department.

Identification

Leaves & stems: Stem can grow to 2 feet long. Simple leaves with opposite leaf arrangement. Leaves are round and shiny. Stems are smooth, low-growing and trailing. Stems branch frequently to form mat-like growth.

Flowers: Yellow, small and marked with deep red blotches. 5-petaled flowers are born individually on leaf axils. Flowers bloom June to August.

Roots: White and trailing.

Control

Mechanical:
  • For small infestations, plants may be pulled or dug. Make sure to remove all stems, stem fragments and roots to prevent the stems from rooting again in the soil.
  • Prolonged submergence in water will kill moneywort.
  • At restoration sites, moneywort can be controlled by establishing native grasses to shade it out.
  • In fire-adapted plant communities, controlled burns in the early spring or late fall (when native species are dormant) may be helpful.
Chemical:
  • Several herbicides are effective in controlling moneywort; however, because moneywort usually grows in or near wetlands, be sure that the herbicide is aquatically-approved. Rodeo is one such herbicide product that may be effective.

Photos

View moneywort pictures in our photo gallery!

Resources

Sources for content:
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database]. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory.
  • Czarapata, Elizabeth; Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: an illustrated guide to their identification and control. University of Wisconsin Press. 2005. Pg. 112
  • USDA Forest Service, Weed of Week: Moneywort.
Links for more information: