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Water Paspalum - Paspalum fluitans
Family: Poaceae

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Description

Water paspalum is an annual, aquatic or subaquatic, with sprawling, often elongate, spongy stems. If growing in water, plants are mostly submersed with only the inflorescences emersed. When in water, large numbers of dark roots grow from the nodes; when in wet soils, the stems are often bent with roots from the nodes. Leaf sheaths are loose, often inflated-spongy, pubescent, often purple spotted. The leaf blades are lanceolate, up to 2.5 dm long and 2.5 cm wide, both leaf surfaces rough striate. The ligule is a membranous scale, 1 to 3 mm long. The inflorescence has 20 to 50 spikelet bearing branches arranged like a bottle brush and at right angles to the main stem axis. Spikelets are flat on one side, convex on the other, short stalked, solitary and alternating on either side of the inflorescence axis; thus, in 2 rows along the axis.

Interesting facts

Paspalum fluitans grows in mud or in shallow water along the margins of sluggish streams, ditches, swamps, ponds, and lakes. Colonies grow outward from the shore and form mats that may break loose and form floating islands (Bodle 1986). Reproduction is by seed or from remnants of mats that die back during the fall and regrow during the late spring or early summer months (Tarver et al. 1986, Hoyer et al. 1996).

Plants may form thick mats which restrict water flow and impair navigational and recreational use in some instances (Tarver et al. 1986, Hoyer et al. 1996).

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Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers


Water Pasplum Video


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