Hydrocharis morsus-ranae

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Contents


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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Hydrocharitales
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Genus: Hydrocharis
Species: morsus-ranae
Scientific Name
Hydrocharis morsus-ranae
L.
Common Names

European frog-bit

Overview

Appearance
Hydrocharis morsus-ranae is a free-floating aquatic plant that resembles a miniature water lily.
Foliage
The leaves of the plant are round, and heart shaped, (the size of a Canadian two-dollar coin) with veins coming off the mid-vein that arch broadly following the shape of the leaf. The undersides of the leaves are dark purplish-red and have a spongy coating, which helps the plant float on top of the water.
Flowers
It has a single white flower approximately 0.6 in. (1.5 cm) in diameter with three rounded petals and a yellow center.
Fruit
Seeds are approximately 0.04 in. (1 mm) long.
Ecological Threat
In the fall, Hydrocharis morsus-ranae breaks apart and decomposes, falling to the bottom of the lake. The decomposition of huge volumes of vegetation in the water can deplete dissolved oxygen levels. If there are insufficient amounts of oxygen, fish and other aquatic organisms can die. These thick mats can also impede the movement of large fish and diving ducks.

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