Lemnaceae (Duckweed Family)
A diminutive floating aquatic perennial, often forming a solid cover on the surface, only 1 - 15 mm in size.
Distinguishing Features - Leaves and stems merged in common structure typically called a frond or thallus, though neither term is correct by actual botanical definition. The frond itself consists of one to several layers of conspicuous air spaces and one to several veins. Frond is flattened, suborbicular to elliptic-obovate in outline; generally symetrical, with smooth upper surface. Flowering duckweeds are uncommon.
Widespread throughout temperate regions of the northern hemisphere, including North America and Eurasia; in freshwater ponds, marshes, lakes, and quiet streams; spreads rapidly across quiet bodies of water rich in nutrients, growing best in water with high levels of nitrogen and phosphate.
Lemna, from the Greek, lemna, meaning "water-plant" and minor, from the Latin, minor, meaning "lesser".
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