Scientific Name: Lemna valdiviana

Common Name: duckweed

Other Common Names: pale duckweed, duckweed

Synonyms: Lemna cyclostasa, Lemna torreyi

Leaves: Flattened, round to elliptic in shape, reaching 1/8 inch long and 1/10 inch wide. Each leaf or frond has 1 root that dangles below the water surface.

Identifying Characteristics: Very small floating aquatic plants that often form dense mats over large areas of the water surface. The duckweeds are free-floating and do not have stems or 'typical' leaves. Very small floating aquatic plants with a single small root dangling below. The giant duckweeds (Spirodela spp.) are similar to these species but have 2 or more roots emerging from each frond and usually have at least one purple or red dot on the frond. Watermeal (Wolffia spp.) is also similar in appearance to the duckweeds but is generally much smaller and also does not have roots dangling below.

Flower Seed Head: Very small and inconspicuous, rarely seen.

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Plant type: Herb

  • Plant family: Lemnaceae