Sparganium americanum Nutt.
Sparganiaceae (Burr-Reed Family)
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.
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Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow , Green
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug
DistributionUSA: 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 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
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Sparganium americanum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Sparganium americanum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Sparganium americanum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff