USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Lemna minor L.)

Lesser Duckweed
Note: The scale shown in the above photograph is in mm.



FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: This duckweed has flattened fronds between 2-5 mm. long with 3-5 nerves. Frond surfaces are green above and below. Each frond has a single root. Microscopic flowers occur in small pouches on the edge of the frond or on its upper surface.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Lesser duckweed is found in quiet waters, frequently associated with big duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) and watermeal (Wolffia spp.) forming thick, floating mats.

Waterfowl feed on the duckweeds, probably obtaining substantial numbers of minute animal organisms associated with the plants. Some authorities have split L. minor into multiple additional species; however, other authorities have not adopted this approach. See discussion in Swink and Wilhelm (1994).

SOURCE: Fassett (1957); Gleason and Cronquist (1991); Swink and Wilhelm (1994) and Martin et al. (1951).

Previous Section -- The Duckweed Family
Return to Contents
Next Section -- Star Duckweed (Lemna trisulca L.)

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 06:32:00 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww55]