Common Duckweed

Lemna minor

Kyle Hoagland

Common Duckweed, also known as Lesser Duckweed, is a common floating plant found in ponds, marshes, lakes, and quiet streams.

It is one of the smallest flowering plants in the world. Common Duckweed is usually seen in thick mats, covering the surface of the water, often along with other species of duckweeds.

Duckweed does not have stems or leaves. It has a round, slightly oval-shaped body, called a "frond." A small root-like structure, known as a "rootlet," hangs down from underneath. Fronds tend to grab each other, forming the thick mats.

Common Duckweed fronds are usually pale green, but can be a reddish-purple, and are no bigger than 10 millimeters.

USDA, NRCS, 1997

Common Duckweed blooms in July and August, with microscopic flowers in tiny pouches. Tiny fruits are oval-shaped.

Duckweed spreads rapidly, especially in water containing high levels of nitrogen and phosphates (types of nutrients).

Common Duckweed is a food source for many birds and fish, especially ducks, as its name would suggest.

Duckweed also provides shelter and protection for aquatic (water) animals, such as frogs, snakes, fish, insects, crustaceans, and others.

Relationships in Nature:

Animals Using as Food Source

Animals Using as Shelter

Associations With Other Plants

OTHER

Mallard

Northern Water Snake

Yellow Pond Lily

Tussock Sedge C

Canada Goose

Southern Leopard Frog

Common Cattail

Stagnant Pond Snail

Bullfrog

Pickerelweed

Crane Fly

Bluegill

Common Reed

Eastern Painted Turtle

Largemouth Bass

Green Algae

Common Snapping Turtle

Yellow Perch

Lizard's Tail

Wood Duck

Wood Frog

Long-leaf Pondweed

Common Carp

American Toad

Hydrilla

Beaver

Green Darner

Greater Bladderwort

Water Flea

Arrow Arum

Channel Catfish

Swamp Rose Mallow

Freshwater Leech

Eastern Newt

Tesselated Darter

Large Diving Beetle

Muskrat

Stagnant Pond Snail

Crane Fly

Paramecium

Eastern Mosquitofish

Relationship to Humans:

Common Duckweed is very beneficial to humans as a solution to water pollution. Sewage and animal wastes, especially from farming, pollute water with too much nitrogen and phosphates.

Duckweed grows quickly by using these up, taking them out of the water. Animals then eat up the duckweed.

Common Duckweed is also being used as animal feed for cows, pigs, chickens, and ducks.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Plant
DIVISION
Magnoliophyta
CLASS
Liliopsida
ORDER
Arales
FAMILY
Lemnaceae
GENUS
Lemna
SPECIES
Lemna minor

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