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Lemna minor (Common duckweed)
Cressler, Alan

Lemna minor

Lemna minor L.

Common Duckweed

Lemnaceae (Duckweed Family)

Synonym(s): Lemna cyclostasa, Lemna minima

USDA Symbol: lemi3

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

Tiny floating plants often forming a carpetlike cover on the water’s surface.

This duckweed is more widely distrubuted in Canada and the United States and better adapted to cold climates than Lesser Duckweed (L. aequinoctialis).


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Floats on the surface of the water.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Utricle.

Bloom Information

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


USA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NL , NS , NT , ON , PE , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Throughout North America.
Native Habitat: Ponds, quiet water.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Aquatic: yes
Conditions Comments: When in dense colonies, can stop the proliferation of mosquito larvae by creating a barrier when they want to breathe at the surface.Very fast growth rate.


Use Wildlife: Food for ducks, tadpoles, fish and beavers. (Fleurbec)
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: No

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.

Web Reference

Webref 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 resources

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


Record Modified: 2023-04-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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