Common Name: American Water Plantain
Description: A perennial aquatic herb that is distinguished from other water plantains by the tiny petals (less than 2 mm long) and the ovate leaves. Fresh leaves and roots are toxic but the toxicity is reduced by heat or dessication.
Leaves: Ovate to lanceolate shaped leaves, each with a primary mid-vein flanked by three subparallel veins.
Flowers: White to pinkish, 3 petaled flowers in compound panicles on a leafless stem
Seeds: Bears several flattened, keeled achenes in a small ring; each up to 2 mm long
Stem: Erect, unbranched except in the inflorescence, smooth
Branching Pattern: Whorled
Height: 10-90 cm above water
Conditions/Habitat/Kind of Forest: Shallow water, marshes, ponds, lakes, streams, and ditches in full sunlight
Range: Throughout most of North America except Rocky Mountain states
Conservation Status-US/ World Wide: Not threatened
Uses (Human): Bulb-like base was dried and eaten by Native Americans; ornamental uses in water gardens; a wide variety of medicinal uses
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains. February 23, 2005. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. Accessed: November 29, 2005. <http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/1999/neflor/species/4/alissubc.htm>
Plants for a Future. June 2004. Accessed: November 29, 2005. <http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants.php?Alisma+plantago-aquatica>
Thieret, John W. National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers: Eastern Region (Rev. Ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 2001.
This page was created by: C. Westring,
Last updated 12/21/05