Duckweed (Lemna minor) is one of nature’s smallest flowering plants. Duckweed has tiny bright green disks and thrives in full sun to partial shade. Duckweed is a source of food for fish and as the name implies waterfowl. The small plant floats on the water’s surface and is hardy to zone 3.
Common Names: Duckweed, Common duckweed
Scientific Name: Lemna minor
Sun Tolerance: Duckweed grows best in full sun.
Planting Depth: Common duckweed is a floating plant that has tiny rootlets that hang down on the surface of the water.
Height of Plant: Duckweed is less than 1/4 of an inch small.
Bloom color and time of year: Duckweed has a tiny green blossom that blooms from June through August.
Native Status: Duckweed is native throughout North America.
Benefit: Extremely effective at removing nutrients like nitrate and phosphorus from the water. When in dense colonies, common duckweed can stop the proliferation of mosquito larvae by creating a barrier when they want to breathe at the surface Also provides food for fish and waterfowl and habitat for aquatic invertebrates. Because of its high nutritive value, duckweed have been used to feed cattle and pigs in Africa, India, and southeast Asia. In some countries duckweed is still cultivated and processed as a flour to make bread.
Care: If your duckweed grows too much, simply remove it with a net and add to your compost. A single plant can reproduce itself about every 3 days in nutrient rich waters.