Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Common Waterplantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica)
- Family: Waterplantain (Alismaceae)
- Flowering: May-September.
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by its large, plaintain-like leaves in a basal rosette and by its small, white flowers in clusters on a stout flowering stem.
- Habitat: Along streams, around ponds, marshes.
- Habit: Perennial herb with thickened roots.
- Stems: Erect, smooth, up to 3 feet tall, bearing only whorls of flowers.
- Leaves: All basal, elliptic to ovate, pointed at the tip, rounded or sometimes heart-shaped at the base, smooth, up to 8 inches long.
- Flowers: Borne in whorls on the stem, white, up to 1/6 inch across.
- Sepals: 3, green, ovate, rounded at the tip, up to 1/8 inch long.
- Petals: 3, white, free from each other, up to 1/12 inch long.
- Stamens: 6-9.
- Pistils: Several in a ring, the ovaries superior.
- Fruits: Achenes borne in circular heads up to 1/6 inch in diameter; each achene obovate, about 1/8 inch long, with a minute beak.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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