Suvarna Garge (Editor)

Wolffia

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Subfamily  Lemnoideae
Higher classification  Wolffieae
Order  Alismatales
Family  Araceae
Scientific name  Wolffia
Rank  Genus
Kingdom  Plantae
Wolffia on a human hand

Similar  Wolffia arrhiza, Duckweeds, Spirodela, Lemna, Wolffia globosa

Wolffia garden plants


Wolffia is a genus of nine to 11 species which include the smallest flowering plants on Earth. Commonly called watermeal or duckweed, these aquatic plants resemble specks of cornmeal floating on the water. Wolffia species are free-floating thalli, green or yellow-green, and without roots. The flower is produced in a depression on the top surface of the plant body. It has one stamen and one pistil. Individuals often float together in pairs or form floating mats with related plants, such as Lemna and Spirodela species. Most species have a very wide distribution across several continents. Wolffia species are composed of about 40% protein on a dry-matter basis, about the same as the soybean, making them a potential high-protein human food source. They have historically been collected from the water and eaten as a vegetable in much of Asia.

Close-up of floating W. brasiliensis (blue arrow) and W. columbiana (white arrow)
Floating Wolffia

An 1885 illustration of Wolffia arrhiza

The smallest species of vascular plants in Europe, the Spotless watermeal or the Wolffia arrhiza on human fingers

Close-up of floating aquatic plants: Spirodela polyrrhiza and Wolffia globosa

References

Wolffia Wikipedia