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Glossary

Last Updated: Spring 2012
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Synonyms: NONE

Family: Araceae

Home Range/U.S. Introduction:
The native range of this species is unknown. It grows naturalized or natively in warm regions of the United States from Florida to Texas.

U.S. Range Map:



Distribution was determined by a combining of the distribution information obtained from the following websites:

USDA, NRCS. 2012. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 18 June 2012). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

U.S. Geological Survey. [2012]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/18/2012].


Species Description:
Plants are free-floating herbs that form stolons. During dry seasons, some plants may be found rooted in wet soil. The leaves are sessile in a rosette, entire, cuneate to obovate-cuneate to about 25 cm long, strongly ribbed and densely pubescent and appearing gray-green. The veins are parallel. The inflorescence has both male and female flowers on a short stalk in the axils of leaves. Sepals and petals are absent. Fruits are many seeded, green berries.

Habitat/Growth Characteristics:
Waterlettuce grows in lakes and in low velocity streams and canals (Tarver et al. 1986). Plants form many new plantlets on stolons. The seeds are dispersed by water.

Problems:
The species is commonly weedy, forming dense mats and clogging waterways. A weevil and a moth, introduced for biological control of this species, have caused significant reductions in population sizes.

References:
Tarver, D. P., J. A. Rogers, M. J. Mahler, and R. L. Lazor. 1986. Aquatic and Wetland Plants of Florida. Third Edition. Florida Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee Florida.