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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Spirodela polyrhiza (L.) Schleiden)

Big Duckweed



FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: This duckweed has flattened fronds 3-10 mm. long, usually with 7 nerves (but can be 5-15 nerved). Frond surfaces are green above and purplish below. Each frond has several to many roots. Flowers are produced in reproductive pouches. The scale shown in the above photograph is in cm./mm.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Big duckweed occurs in quiet waters of lakes and marshes, frequently forming thick, floating mats with lesser duckweed (Lemna minor) and watermeal (Wolffia spp.).

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

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