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Lemna minor
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Lemna minor

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About Duckweed (Lemna minor) Lemna minor (Common Duckweed or Lesser Duckweed) is a species of Lemna (duckweed) with a subcosmopolitan distribution, native throughout most of Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, occurring everywhere that freshwater ponds and slow-moving streams occur, except for arctic and subarctic climates. It is not reported as native in Australasia or South America, though is naturalised there. It is a floating freshwater aquatic plant, with one, two or three leaves each with a single root hanging in the water; as more leaves grow, the plants divide and become separate individuals. The root is 1-2 centimeter long. The leaves are oval, 1-8 millimeter long and 0.6-5 millimeter broad, light green, with three (rarely five) veins, and small air spaces to assist flotation. It propagates mainly by division, and flowers are rarely produced; when produced, they are about 1 millimeter diameter, with a cup-shaped membranous scale containing a single ovule and two stamens. The seed is 1 millimeter long, ribbed with 8-15 ribs.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Perennial herb


Growth Rate

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Ponds, lakes and streams


Elevation ?
-11' - 7702'

Annual Precip. ?
5.1" - 63.1"

Summer Precip. ?
0.20" - 2.00"

Coldest Month ?
26.1° F - 55.6° F

Hottest Month ?
55.9° F - 80.5° F

Humidity ?
0.38 vpd - 30.44 vpd

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Common uses
Bogs and Ponds

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Common Duckweed

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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