False Mermaid-Weed

Floerkea proserpinacoides Limnanthaceae

Growth habit




Native distribution

Native to the Finger Lakes Region


A 1-6" ephemeral annual with a tiny white to pink flower.


Seed Treatment and Storage: Needs warm/moist, then cold/moist stratification. Will germinate on return to warmth.

Biocultural value

False mermaid weed greens are tender with a pleasant pungent flavor that lends itself to nibbling or use in salads. However, the plant is so inconspicuous and short-lived that it is not commonly collected.

Wildlife value

The tiny, inconspicuous flowers can attract flower flies and small bees. The foliage may be consumed by mammalian herbivores, but little is known about floral-faunal relationships for this species.

Climate change sensitivity

Over the period from 1986 to 2015, Floerkea proserpinacoides bloomed an average of 8.6 days earlier.


Mundy Wildflower Garden, McLean Bogs

Special characteristics

This is the only representative of its family in eastern North America. It is unusual to find this species in the Finger Lakes, but it happens to be abundant in the Mundy Wildflower Garden flood plain. False mermaid we