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LEMNA trisulca

Image of Lemna trisulca

Christian Fischer

Family

Lemnaceae

Botanical Name

LEMNA trisulca

Plant Common Name

Duckmeat, Frog's Buttons, Ivyleaf Duckweed, Star Duckweed

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

From late spring to fall frost, the still waters on ponds, lakes and the edges of slow-moving streams may reveal a floating mat of star duckweed. Native to the cool-summer areas of the Northern Hemisphere, star duckweed sinks to the bottom of the body of water in winter to escape death by freezing.

When ice disappears and water warms up in spring, the dormant leaf bodies of star duckweed rise up to the water's surface. Floating atop the water, the light to medium green leaves of star duckweed are narrow ovals and occur in close proximity to look like three-lobed leaves similar to a star or ivy leaf. Thin roots dangle downward into the water. Rarely flowering, but occurring in late spring to midsummer, the leaves are held more erect when the tiny blossoms rise barely above the water's surface.

Star duckweed is a food source for aquatic fish and water fowl. Grow it in ornamental water gardens or containers to cover the water surface. To eliminate it, do not spray with chemicals but merely scrape and lift plants with a pond screen-skimmer. Discard plants in the compost pile or full sun to dry out and die.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    1 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17

  • Plant Type

    Aquatics

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    North America, Europe, Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil Drainage

    Poorly Drained

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Ample Water

  • Habit

    Spreading

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bog Garden, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No