Mock Bishopsweed

Mock Bishopsweed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)
Mock Bishopsweed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)

Common Names

Mock bishopsweed, mock Bishop’s weed, herbwilliam, and Atlantic mock bishop-weed.

Latin Name

Ptilimnium capillaceum


Mock bishopsweed is in the Apiaceae  or celery Family.  


It is an annual wildflower that grows to a height of approximately 18 inches.  The foliage is feathery and the stems slender.

mock bishops weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)
mock bishops weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)


The leaves are alternate and forked.  They are linear and threadlike with entire margins.  The slender leaves give the plant a wispy apperance.

mock bishops weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)
mock bishops weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)


The flowers appear in spring, summer and fall.

mock bishops weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)
mock bishops weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)


Mock bishopsweed (Ptilimnium capillaceum) is commonly found in moist open fields, wet ditches, pond and lake margins, salt marshes, brackish marshes, and disturbed riparian areas.

mock bishops weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)
mock bishops weed (Ptilimnium capillaceum)

Native Range

It is native to the following states: AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, and VA.

It is found naturally occurring throughout the state of Florida except the Keys.

Landscape Use

It is an annual that likes moist sites.  It looks best growing en masse because it is such a dainty little wildflower.  Its wispy foliage and flowers get lost if there are only one or two individuals. So letting a large area grow is best for the looks as well as for the butterflies.

It is best to let it reseed where it is planted to ensure next seasons crop of new plants.   Seedlings can be transplanted or removed as needed.

If you let some grow in your green space you will be rewarded with black swallowtail butterflies visiting.

Wildlife Uses

The flowers are a source of nectar for many insects including bees, beetles, butterflies, flies, and wasps.

It is a host plant for the Eastern black swallowtail butterfly. 

You can read more about this butterfly here in my article Gardening for the Black Swallowtail Butterfly. 


Can be grown easily from seed, and transplanted when small.

I currently have seeds for sale: Mock Bishopsweed Seeds (Ptilimnium capillaceum) ✤ 50 Seeds

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