Wetland Plants of Wisconsin

Lemna trisulca L.
star duckweed
star duckweed
Individuals of star duckweed are called fronds. Each frond consists of a small, green, floating body with a single root that extends into the water from the undersurface, but is not rooted to the soil. They do best in full sun and in nutrient rich water. Under those conditions they can grow rapidly, reproducing not by seeds, but by simple division of a frond to produce a new "daughter" frond. The developing daughter fronds remain attached to the "mother" frond for a short time as shown above, but eventually break apart. Other common, small, free-floating angiosperm plants in Wisconsin include common duckweed (Lemna minor), giant duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza) and duck meal (Wolffia columbiana). Duckweeds flower rarely in Wisconsin and several of the species of Lemna (9 in North America) can be difficult to distinguish, although star duckweed is quite distinctive.

Reference for star duckweed and related species:
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 2000. Flora of North America North of Mexico. Vol. 22. Magnoliophyta: Alismatidae, Arecidae, Commelinidae (in part), and Zingiberidae. Oxford University Press. pp143-153.

known Wisconsin distribution


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