Common Duckweed
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Common Duckweed
P Native Unknown Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: Common Duckweed, Common duckmeat, Greater duckweed, Great duckmeat
Botanical name: Spirodela polyrhiza    Family: Araceae (Arum family)
Synonyms: Spirodela maxima, Lemna orbicularis, Lenticula polyrrhiza

Common Duckweed is a perennial aquatic plant usually growing in dense colonies, forming a mat on the water surface. Each plant is a smooth, round, flat disc 0.5 to 1.0 cm wide. Its upper surface is mostly green, sometimes red, while the lower surface is dark red. It produces several minute roots and a pouch containing male and female flowers. The top part dies in the fall and the plant often overwinters as a turion. The turion sinks to the bottom of the water body and stays in a dormant phase, until water temperature reaches 15 °C. The turions then germinate on the bottom of the water body and start a new life cycle. Common Duckweed only flowers rarely. Common Duckweed is an ideal system for biofuels, bioremediation, and carbon cycling due to its aspects of fast-growing, direct contact with media, and small genome size. Common Duckweed is found throughout the world.

Identification credit: Nidhan Singh Photographed in Panipat, Haryana.

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