Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Sparganium minimum (Hartm.) Fr.
- Family: Burreed (Sparganiaceae)
- Flowering: June-August
- Field Marks: This is the tiniest of all North American species of Sparganium. The heads of fruiting achenes are less than 1/2 inch across, and the leaves are only about 1/3 inch wide.
- Habitat: Bogs, ponds, often in shallow standing water.
- Habit: Floating or emergent perennial with slender, creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Slender, floating or upright if emergent, smooth, up to 2 feet long but usually shorter, particularly if emergent.
- Leaves: Flat, dark green, alternate, sheathing at the base, tapering to a point at the tip, usually up to 6 inches long, up to 1/3 inch wide, smooth.
- Flowers: Male and female borne separately in spherical heads on the same plant, the male head solitary, terminal, 1/4-1/3 inch in diameter, the female heads 1-3, up to nearly 1/2
inch in diameter.
- Sepals: O.
- Petals: O.
- Stamens: Several, crowded together into a dense, spherical head, with whitish filaments.
- Pistils: Several, crowded together into a dense, spherical head.
- Fruits: Achenes several, crowded together into a spherical head up to nearly 1/2 inch
across, each achene smooth, up to 1/3 inch long, with a very short beak and very short stalk.
- Notes: The achenes are eaten by waterfowl.
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