Frog's-Bit

Limnobium spongia

Description


Frog’s-bit is a perennial plant that can be rooted or free-floating. Leaves are on stalks, simple and can vary in shape from round, to egg-shaped, to kidney, or heart-shaped, to 3 1/2 inches wide. Leaves often float on the water’s surface. Young floating leaves are often heart-shaped and have a spongy, purplish underside. Flowers are small, white (with 3 petals and 3 sepals) on a stalk about 1/3 the height of the leaves. Flowers can be above or below the waters surface.

Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detrius”) for many aquatic invertebrates. Frog’s-bit seeds are eaten by waterfowl.