Brasenia schreberi (Water-shield)
|Also known as:
|part shade, sun; mucky soil, ponds, slow moving water
|June - August
|to 7 feet deep water
|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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A single flower ¾ inch across on a stout naked stalk rising up to 4 inches above the water surface. Flowers typically have 3 (sometimes 4) downward curved petals and an equal number of sepals slightly smaller in size and of similar shape and color. In the center are numerous erect stamens. Color ranges from dull purplish brown to pinkish red.
Leaves and stems:
Leaves are waxy green, purplish on the underside, oval to elliptic, to 5 inches long and half as wide, geometrically centered on long stalks alternately attached on the upper portion of the submerged stem. Leaves float flat on water surface. Underwater stems are covered with a mucilaginous (snot-like) jelly.
Notes:Water-shield is a smaller aquatic surface species, not as common as the white water lily (Nymphaea odorata) or the yellow bullhead lily (Nuphar variegata) but is often found interspersed among these species when present. Beyond lakes in the seven county metro, its range generally coincides with lakes within the coniferous forest biome of Minnesota.
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Photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk, taken along a roadside lake on Hwy 65 in the Big Sandy Lake area of Aitkin county
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?