Alphabetical Plant Listing

Lemna minor (Common Duckweed)

Common Duckweed, Lemna cyclostasa, Lemna minima


Among the smallest of the flowering plants, Lemna minor (Common Duckweed) is a free-floating, aquatic perennial forming a carpet of tiny, oval-rounded, bright green leaves. Each plant consists of a single flat leaf with a single hanging rootlet. Tiny white flowers are rarely produced. Common Duckweed notoriously multiplies and creates dense colonies that are an important food source for ducks, waterfowl, muskrats, beavers, birds, fish and frogs. It can stop the proliferation of mosquito larvae and helps remove pollutants (phosphorus and nitrogen) from the water. But, it can also become a nuisance. If it covers the surface of the water, then oxygen depletion and fish kills can occur. It will also eliminate submerged plants by blocking sunlight penetration. This plant should be controlled before it covers the entire surface of the pond. Native throughout most of the world, Common Duckweed occurs naturally in freshwater ponds and slow-moving streams. It grows extremely quickly under optimum conditions. In temperate regions, when temperatures drop below 42-44°F (6-7°C), small, dense organs called 'turions' are produced. The plants then become dormant and sink to the ground for overwintering. The following spring, they restart growing again and float back to the surface. Common Duckweed is a popular addition to water gardens and ponds, where it provides attractive foliage cover and discourages algae growth.

  • This deciduous perennial grows up to 2-3 in. tall (5-7 cm) and 12-36 in. wide (30-90 cm). 
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade on still water in water gardens, ponds or aquatic containers.
  • Virtually pest and disease free.
  • Reduce its spread by removing portions with a net.
  • Native throughout most of Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
  • Can be quite invasive in frost-free climates. Find where this species is invasive in the U.S.

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Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 10
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2" – 3" (5cm – 7cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Average
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens

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Gerry Bishop, Iam_Sunday, Anghi, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 4 – 10
Plant Type Aquatic Plants, Perennials
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 2" – 3" (5cm – 7cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Average
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Alaska, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Pacific Northwest, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil
Attracts Birds
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Water Gardens

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