Venus’ looking glass

Common Name:

venus' looking glass

Scientific Name:

Triodanis perfoliata






Common annual broadleaf plant species. Plant slender, erect. Stems with mild pubescence. Leaves are sessile (without a petiole) and often clasping, alternating up the stem, glabrous, and spatulate in shape. Flowers produced in the leaf axils and a stem apex. Flowers are solitary, with five petals and five sepals. Petals are purple with depressed veins. Fruit is an elongated linear seed pod. Common winter to early summer annual broadleaf weed. Common in frequently mowed turf. Often considered a desirable wild flower due to its showy flower. Not a major weed of intensely managed turf. Often does not develop stands that are considered problematic.


NOTE: There are two distinct species that can hybridize. Triodanis perfoliata (or Specularia perfoliata) is often referred to as “clasping Venus’ looking glass” because it it has broader, more ovate leaves that clasp almost completely around the stem. Triodanis biflora (or Specularia bilora) is often referred to as “small Venus’ looking glass” because it is much less robust in growth. It also has linear leaves that are only sessile (no petiole) and do not clasp the stem. This distinction becomes much more difficult because these two species can hybridize form morphological intermediates.