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Wolffia Arrhiza (Watermeal): Species, Details, Facts, Pictures & More




Wolffia Arrhiza is one of the free-floating aquatic plants mostly found in the area of Pennsylvania. The family name of this plant is Araceae which comes under the order Alismatales (Water plantains). These smallest vascular plants will grow in the area of nutrient-rich ponds with inert or little flow. Wolffia Arrhiza is a rootless floating plant that is hardly visible to the normal vision. These plants are mostly available in the colonies of duckweeds and you can see this on the surface of lakes, ponds, and marshes. It comes under the category of smallest flowering plants on Earth. In the state of Pennsylvania, you can see three different species of Wolffia. It can be identified by its shapes like spherical, oval and sometimes flattened. Moreover, these plants look like grass seeds floating in the water surface of the pond. These plants are commonly called as watermeal or duckweed. The length of this plant is around the range of from 0.2 to 1.5 millimetres. It is one of the most aggressive invaders of ponds and are dangerous for the water bodies.

Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Araceae
Subfamily: Lemnoideae
Genus: Wolffia
Length: 0.2 to 1.5 millimeters
Size: Pin Head

Species of Wolffia

Wolffia genus has nearly 9 to 11 species all over the world. In the state of Pennsylvania, you can find three species of Wolffia. Here we have listed all the species of Wolffia genus.

  • Wolffia angusta
  • Wolffia arrhiza
  • Wolffia australiana
  • Wolffia borealis
  • Wolffia brasiliensis
  • Wolffia columbiana
  • Wolffia cylindracea
  • Wolffia elongata
  • Wolffia globosa
  • Wolffia microscopica
  • Wolffia neglecta

Is Watermeal are Dangerous?

Yes, these plants are dangerous for the animals, plants, mammals that live in and around the aquatic region. These species grow densely on the surface of the body which reduces the sunlight entering into the water. It causes a reduction in photosynthesis among all submerged pans. It also reduces the oxygen level that results in oxygen depletion which will kill the fish and other aquatic bodies.

How to Control Wolffia Arrhiza aka Watermeal?

Physically it can be removed by collecting or seining from the surface of the pond. Though it is smaller, it is quite difficult to remove physically. Tilapia is a kind of fish that consumes these plants but it is one of the warm water species and it cannot live in the temperatures below 55 F. And so it is not suitable in winter seasons. Another method used for reducing its growth is Herbicide, commonly called as weedkillers can be used in water to control its growth. The government approved Herbicides are Flouridone, Flumioxazin & Penoxsulam.

Interesting Facts about Wolffia

  • While floating on the surface of the water, Wolffia looks like the specks of cornmeal.
  • All the species that come under these genera are free-floating thalli and rootless green or yellow-green coloured plants.
  • Though it is a small plant, it has flowers on the surface of the body. Unlike other plants, it has one stamen and one pistil.
  • These plants mostly float together as pairs and it also joins other floating mates like Lemna and Spirodela species.
  • It is one of the important food for ducks. It also plays a major role in its growth by taking to other water bodies.
  • Species of Wolffia has widely distributed across the continents in the world.
  • These aquatic plants have 40% protein on a dry-matter basis like soybeans. In historical days, these plants were collected and eaten as a vegetable in most Asian countries.
  • Moreover, the reproduction of these plants is much faster than other plants. The growth of the plants should be controlled to save the life of aquatic organisms.

Wolffia Images

Wolffia Arrhiza Plant
Wolffia plant with other Species
Wolffia Arrhiza
Density of Wolffia
Wolffia Arrhiza
Wolffia Arrhiza
Wolffia Arrhiza
Wolffia Arrhiza on hand
Wolffia Arrhiza
Watermeal on Surface
Shapes of Wolffia
Wolffia on Water Surface
Wolffia Flowers

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