Duckweed

image of duckweed mass in a handLemna sp.

Family:
Lemnaceae

Lifecycle:
Perennial

Native or Introduced:
Nativepicture of duckweed

Nutrient Removal Rating:
Low - medium

Wildlife Value:
Medium

Invasinveness:
Medium

Rooted or Floating:
Floating

Site Requirements:
Full sun

Maximum Water Depth:
n/a

Plant Description:
Duckweed typically exists as a mass of small plants (each less than 0.25 inches across) that produce only a single root per frond. Plants can float or be slightly submerged. Typically they are present in chains of several to many individuals. Typically multiple species are present together. There are several species that live throughout the southeast.

Leaves are flat and oval in shape. Leaves are pale green on the upper and lower surfaces. They are usually green but sometimes pigments are present which cause them to appear reddish.

Vegetative reproduction is common and rapid. New plants arise from small pouches along the margins of the fronds.

Sources:

  • Audlbach-Smith, C.A., deKozlowski, S.J. 1996. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
  • Flora of North America (see link below)

Additional reading: