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Sparganium americanum Nutt.
USDA Symbol: SPAM
An erect, grass-like, aquatic plant with zig-zag stalks bearing ball-like heads of tiny green flowers.
The Bu-reeds represent an important group of emergent plants that are partly in and partly out of the water; they frequently form dense stands along the edges of shallow lakes and ponds. The seeds are eaten by waterfowl and marsh birds, and muskrats feed on the entire plant. The Great Bur-reed (S. eurycarpum), which reaches a height of 7 (2.1 m), has 2 stigmas, not 1 as in the rest of the group; it is widely distributed. Floating Bur-reed (S. fluctuans) has a floating stem and floating ribbon-like leaves; it is found in cold ponds and lakes across Canada and New England west to Minnesota.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
, WV Canada: NB
, PE Native Distribution:
Ontario east to Newfoundland, south to Florida, west to Texas, and north to Kansas, Iowa, and Minnesota. Native Habitat:
Shallow water, muddy shores.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand
BenefitUse Wildlife: Birds, Other Showy Insects
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Native Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff