Clearweed, or Pilea sp., are common annual plants native to Eastern North America, found in wet, shady areas. The plant's name comes from the unusual translucency of the leaves and stem.
Most clearweed is from the species Pilea pumila; less common is Pilea fontana, which is hard to distinguish. The plants are in the nettle family, but do not bear stinging hairs like true nettles.
Although they bear "weed" in their name, these plants can be attractive, and can be useful as part of naturalized or native plant gardens. Like most native plants, they support native insects, which for these plants, include some beautiful butterflies.
Below you will learn how to identify these plants, as well as how to cultivate them in your garden.