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Common Duckweed Lemna minor

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Common Duckweed:

Previously known as:

  • Lemna cyclostasa
  • Lemna minima
Phonetic Spelling
LEM-nuh MY-nor
Description

Even with a short lifespan, 'Common Duckweed' spreads rapidly,  Its habit is to lay along the water surface with its extremities facing upwards.  Among the smallest flowering plants known, these tiny plants form a carpetlike cover.  Each plant consists of a single flat leaf that floats on the surface of still waters such as ponds and lakes.  

A sticky secretion from the pistol of the plants' flower attracts flies, mites, spiders, and bees.  Their contact with the substance leads to further pollination of the plant.

Although some consider its spreading nature as invasive, there are some benefits.  Waterways containing high amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen from agricultural runoff can be controlled by harvesting duckweed.  The plant helps remove these pollutants from the water.  

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Its spreading nature can become invasive.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#water garden#perennials#NC native#spadix#ponds#tiny leaves
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#water garden#perennials#NC native#spadix#ponds#tiny leaves
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lemna
    Species:
    minor
    Family:
    Araceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    N. & Central America, Temp. & Subtropical Old World
    Distribution:
    AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts birds. Food source for ducks, tadpoles, fish, and beavers.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Water Plant
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Spadix
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Each plant is a 1/4" leaf.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    One small rootlet
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Pond
    Landscape Theme:
    Water Garden
    Problems:
    Weedy