Spirodela polyrrhiza (L.) Schleid.
Common Duckmeat, Giant Duckweed
Lemnaceae (Duckweed Family)
Synonym(s): Lemna polyrrhiza, Spirodela polyrhiza, Spirodela polyrrhiza var. masonii
USDA Symbol: SPPO
This is the largest of the duckweeds.
Because Duckweed is largely made up of metabolically active cells with very little structural fiber, the tissue contains twice the protein, fat, nitrogen, and phosphorus of other vascular plants. Each frond absorbs nutrients through the whole plant and not through a central root system, directly assimilating organic molecules such as simple carbohydrates and various amino acids. With the entire body of the duckweed composed of non-structural, metabolically active tissue, most photosynthesis is devoted to the production of protein and nucleic acids, making them very high in nutrional value.
Natural populations of duckweeds are usually mixtures of several species. (Rook)
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Notes: Floats on the surface of the water.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Green
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
Bloom Notes: Flowering is very rare. Flowers are inconspicuous, lacking petals or sepals. Flowers are contained in pouches near the base of the plant.
DistributionUSA: DC , IN , OR
Canada: NB , NS , PE , SK
Growing ConditionsAquatic: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Spirodela polyrrhiza in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Spirodela polyrrhiza in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Spirodela polyrrhiza
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-04-10
Research By: TWC Staff