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Weed Identification




Scientific Name

Brasenia schreberi

Synonyms (former Scientific Names):

Brasenia peltata


Alternate, floating, oval to elliptic in outline, and approximately 4 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Leaves are green and shiny on the upper surface and purple on the lower surface. The undersides of the leaves are covered with a thick, jelly-like substance. Leaves occur on petioles that range from 4 to 12 inches in length.

Identifying Characteristics

Aquatic floating perennial from rhizomes with distinctive purple stems and leaf undersurfaces. All submerged portions of the plant are also covered in a jelly-like substance. Primarily a weed of poorly-managed lakes or ponds that most commonly occurs in water up to about 5 feet deep. Rooted, floating plants with oval leaves that are green on the upper surface and purple on the lower surface. Additionally, the jelly-like material that covers all submerged portions of the plant helps to distinguish this weed from most other aquatic weeds.

Flower Seed Head

Small (10 to 15 mm in diameter), emersed, purple, and occur on single stalks that open at the water surface. Flowers consist of 3 to 4 sepals and petals and 12 to 36 stamens.

Seed Fruit

Club-shaped, leathery, fruit containing 1 or 2 seeds.

Where Found

Watershield is found in the eastern United States from Florida to Canada, and also in Oregon and California.

Life Cycle


Plant Type