Watermeal

Wolffia spp.

Description


Watermeal is a very tiny (less than 1 millimeter) light green free-floating, rootless plant. In fact, watermeals are the smallest seed-bearing plants in the world,. Watermeal tend to grow in dense colonies in quiet water, undisturbed by wave action. Often watermeal will be associated with colonies of duckweeds. Watermeal can be an aggressive invader of ponds and are often found mixed in with duckweeds or mosquito fern. If colonies cover the surface of the water, then oxygen depletions and fish kills can occur. These plants should be controlled before they cover the entire surface of the pond.

Dense colonies of watermeal often can completely cover the surface of a pond and will cause dissolved oxygen depletions and fish kills These colonies will also eliminate submerged plants by blocking sunlight penetration. Watermeal is not known as an important food but many ducks may consume it and often transport it to other bodies of water.