Alisma triviale (Northern Water Plantain)
|Also known as:||Large-flowered Water Plantain|
|Family:||Alismataceae (Water Plantain)|
|Habitat:||sun; bogs, swamps, shallow mucky water, along shores|
|Bloom season:||June - September|
|Plant height:||6 to 40 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are whorled in open clusters on many branches coming off the main stem. Individual flowers are about ¼ inch across, 3 white petals with a spot of yellow at the base, 3 sepals that are much shorter than the petals, and 6 stamens surrounding the yellowish to green center.
Leaves are in a basal rosette, generally oval with a pointed tip, tapering some, rounded or flattened at the base. Leaves are up to 7 inches long and 3 inches wide, hairless, toothless, with mostly parallel veins and a long smooth leaf stalk.
Notes:There are 3 species of Water-plantain in Minnesota, Alisma triviale being the most common. A. subcordatum has smaller flowers with sepals as long as or longer than the petals, but is otherwise nearly identical. A. gramineum has very narrow leaves and is the least common in the state. Water-plantain flowers are also similar to Arrowhead, but Arrowhead flowers are much larger—½ to 1 inch across.
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Where to buy native seed and plants ↓
- Northern Water Plaintain plant, about 3 feet tall
- more plants
- close-up of a flower
- a colony of plants in shallow water, not yet in bloom
Photos taken at Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Park, Shoreview, MN, June-July 2008 and July-August 2009. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka county.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?