This plant is a delicate herb, with it’s roots in mud. The stems are slender and branched. Fanwort is a multi-branched submerged perennial plant except for a few small (1/2 – 1 1/4 inches long) alternately arranged elongated floating leaves. The submerged leaves are opposite or whorled, attached by a single petiole, but above the petiole form a finely divided “fan-shaped” leaf. Fanwort has a single small (1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter) white to pink flower which arises from the tip of the stem and stands slightly above the waters surface.
Fanwort has little known direct food value to wildlife.