Stems 3-5 dm. Leaves widely spaced proximally, becoming clustered to whorled near inflorescence; blade 1-8 cm. Inflorescences with inflated rachises (rays) and peduncle. Flowers: calyx 3-10 mm, longer than corolla; corolla white, 3-6 mm. Capsules 1.5-3 mm. Seeds 0.4-0.6 mm. 2n = 22. Flowering summer. Pools, swamps, streams, quiet backwaters; 0-200 m; Ala., Ark., Conn., Del., Ga., Ill., Ind., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Miss., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Va., W.Va. Hottonia inflata has been reported from Prince Edward Island (J. F. MacSwain and F. Bain 1891). It was most likely a casual waif; no specimens are known and it has not been seen there since. No specimens have been found to substantiate reports of H. inflata occurring in Florida. It is listed as threatened or endangered in some states and is believed to be extirpated in Pennsylvania, where it was last collected in 1931.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
This species has been collected only three times in Indiana. A specimen was found in flower on May 17, 1901, by Dr. Schneck in a shallow pond in Gibson County near Lyle Station. I now have this specimen. I collected several specimens in flower on June 15, 1935 in Posey County where it was common in a low area in the pin oak woods belonging to Mrs. Nola Erwin, in sec. 5 of Point Township. There is a specimen in the herbarium of Wabash College collected by Dr. Clapp near New Albany, Floyd County, in 1838.
Stems ordinarily submersed, to 5 dm; lvs oblong, 2-6 cm; peduncles several, partly emersed, the successive segments progressively shorter; fls 3-10 at each node, sessile or on pedicels to 15 mm, each subtended by a linear bract; sep linear, 4-10 mm; cor 4-5 mm, white; 2n=22. Quiet shallow water or occasionally in wet soil, chiefly on the coastal plain; Me. to Fla. and La., n. in the Miss. valley to s. Ind., and irregularly to O. and W.Va. May-Aug.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.