Lemna minor
common duckweed, lesser duckweed, water lentil

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast; cosmopolitan.

Habitat: In standing or slow-moving fresh water

Flowers: June - October

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Floating aquatic perennials forming colonies, ovate body 1-8 mm long, flat and barely gibbous, margins entire, rarely slightly reddish beneath, sometimes diffusely red above; stipes small, white, usually decaying; roots 15 cm or shorter, sheath not winged.




Plants rarely found in flower, reproducing vegetatively; flowers 1-2 per body, surrounded by a utricular, membranous scale; stamens 2, 4-chambered; ovaries 1, containing 1 ovule, tapering into style, stigma funnel-shaped.


Fruit a follicle, 0.8-1 mm, laterally winged toward tip, opening by bursting; seeds 1-5, with 8-15 ribs.

Accepted Name:
Lemna minor L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 970. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Lemna minor in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Lemna minor checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Lemna minor atlas page.

CalPhotos: Lemna minor photos.

USDA Plants: Lemna minor information.

12 photographs:
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