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Lemna minor - L.

Common Name Duckweed, Common duckweed
Family Lemnaceae
USDA hardiness 4-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Still water[17]. Mesotrophic to eutrophic, quiet waters, in suboceanic, cool-temperate regions with relatively mild winters[270].
Range A cosmopolitan plant, found in most regions of the world, including Britain, absent from Tropics.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Water Plants Full sun
Lemna minor Duckweed,  Common duckweed


Lemna minor Duckweed,  Common duckweed

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 
Lemna minor is a PERENNIAL.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 4 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to July. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant).
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable pH: neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It can grow in water.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Pond;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves
Edible Uses:

Occasionally used as a vegetable[183]. No further details are given but we have found the flavour to be less than desirable[K].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Alterative  Antirheumatic  Antiscorbutic  Astringent  Depurative  Diuretic  Febrifuge  Homeopathy  
Ophthalmic  Sedative  Skin

The whole plant is alterative, antipruritic, antiscorbutic, astringent, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge and soporific[176, 178, 240]. It is used in the treatment of colds, measles, oedema and difficulty in urination[176]. It is applied externally in the treatment of skin diseases and is used as a wash for ophthalmia[240]. The plant is used in homeopathy[240], but the report gives no more details.

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Other Uses

Repellent

The dried plant repels mosquitoes[178].

Special Uses

Attracts Wildlife

Cultivation details

Requires a sunny position in still water that is rich in nitrates and lime[200]. Duckweed can be a troublesome pond weed though it is easily controlled by simply scooping it out[56, 200]. This scooped out material makes an excellent addition to the compost heap. The growing plant is a good food source for fish and birds, as well as providing cover for creatures in the pond[200]. Although it is towards the limit of its climatic range in Britain, it often flowers here if growing in a sheltered sunny position[17]. It over-winters in temperate areas by means of resting buds which sink to the bottom of the pond in the late autumn and rise again in the spring[200].

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Propagation

Seed - we have no information on this species but, since it spreads so rapidly by division, it really needs no extra help once it is in a pond.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Lemna gibbaGibbous Duckweed, Swollen duckweed, Windbags, DuckweedPerennial0.2 4-11 F NWa30 
Lemna trisulcaStar DuckweedPerennial0.0 4-8   NWa01 
Spirodela polyrrhizaGreat Duckweed, Common duckmeatPerennial0.0 4-8 FLMHNWa12 
Wolffia arrhizaLeast Duckweed, Spotless watermealPerennial0.0 6-9  LMHNWa40 

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

uriceira   Sun Jun 21 2009

The Charms of Duckweed An introduction to the smallest flowering plants

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Subject : Lemna minor  
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