A gentian family member not easy to spot down in the leaf litter of early spring. This was poking up less than two inches. We found this one, and others, in an unused, unpaved driveway in Virginia. Appropriately enough, since both its species epithet and common name, Virginia Pennywort, reference the state. (Virginia Pennyleaf is another name for it.) It does not seem to get up here to New York.
Notably, though it has green leaves, it’s one of the plants that isn’t fully dependent on photosynthesis. Instead, it takes some of its energy from the fungi it’s symbiotically associated with. That makes this it a mycotroph, or fungus flower.