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Native Plant Database

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Sparganium americanum

Sparganium americanum Nutt.

American bur-reed

Sparganiaceae (Burr-Reed Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: SPAM

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

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.

 

From the Image Gallery

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Green, Brown

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NL , NS , 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 Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Aquatic: yes
Soil Description: Clay, Loam, Sand

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Birds, Other Showy Insects
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: OBL OBL OBL OBL OBL
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

Additional resources

USDA: Find Sparganium americanum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sparganium americanum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sparganium americanum

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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