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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Alisma subcordatum Raf.)

Water Plantain



FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A perennial herb, usually emergent and 1-10 dm. high. Leaves have broad, flat blades that may be rounded or tapered at the base; however, submerged forms with only ribbon-like leaves are also produced. The inflorescence is highly branched. Flowers are perfect with 3 sepals and 3 white or pinkish petals. The pistils are in a single whorl on a small, flat receptacle. Fruit is a group of minute, flat- sided nutlets borne in a whorl. Nutlets are 2.5-3 mm. long. In flower during May to September.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Water plantain is found in shallow water and on saturated soils of marshes, shrub swamps, wooded swamps, and margins of lakes and streams. It rapidly invades exposed mud flats and is common in farmed wetlands. Synonyms include ssp. and var. of A. plantago-aquatica L.

SOURCE: Gleason and Cronquist (1991); Fernald (1970); and Voss (1972).

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