Waterleaf is a perennial plant that can form dense colonies in shallow water or moist soils and can grow to 3 feet in height. Leaves are oval to lance-like (1 to 2 inches long by 1/2 to 1 inch wide), on a short petiole usually with a 1/2 inch long spine or thorn in the leaf axis. Flowers are blue in one sided or coiled clusters.
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 “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates. Waterleaf has no direct food value for wildlife.