Watershield: Brasenia schreberi
|Weed Description: Aquatic floating perennial from rhizomes with distinctive purple stems and leaf undersurfaces. All submerged portions of the plant are also covered in a jelly-like substance. Primarily a weed of poorly-managed lakes or ponds that most commonly occurs in water up to about 5 feet deep. Watershield is found in the eastern United States from Florida to Canada, and also in Oregon and California.|
|Leaves: Alternate, floating, oval to
elliptic in outline, and approximately 4 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide.
Leaves are green and shiny on the upper surface and purple on the lower surface. The
undersides of the leaves are covered with a thick, jelly-like substance. Leaves
occur on petioles that range from 4 to 12 inches in length.
Stems: Purple, branched, and may reach 6 feet in length. All submerged stems are covered with a jelly-like substance.
Roots: Horizontal rhizomes that are rooted in the soil below.
Fruit: Club-shaped, leathery, and containing 1 or 2 seeds.
|Flowers: Small (10 to 15 mm in diameter),
emersed, purple, and occur on single stalks that open at the water surface. Flowers
consist of 3 to 4 sepals and petals and 12 to 36 stamens.
Identifying Characteristics: Rooted, floating plants with oval leaves that are green on the upper surface and purple on the lower surface. Additionally, the jelly-like material that covers all submerged portions of the plant helps to distinguish this weed from most other aquatic weeds.