Brasenia

Scientific name

Brasenia Schreber

Common names

water shield

Family

Cabombaceae

Could be confused with

Hydrocotyle, Nymphoides

Native distribution

Australia, Africa, Asia, America

Species commonly cultivated

Brasenia schreberi J.F. Gmel.

Adventive distribution

Europe

Weed status

rarely recorded as weedy

Habit

attached, stoloniferous plant with floating leaves

Brief description

Perennial. Creeping, stoloniferous stem rooted at nodes. Leaves floating (seedling leaves submersed), alternate, peltate, with elongate petiole; leaf blade oval (5 cm wide x 8 cm long); margin entire. All submerged plant parts covered with thick, clear, mucilaginous coating. Inflorescence a solitary flower opening above water surface. Flower borne on elongate, axillary pedicel; perianth of 6 to 8 segments, purple. Dispersal by stem fragments, hibernating turions and seed.

Natural habitat

still waters such as lakes, canals, and swamps

Additional comments

A widely distributed plant that is closely related to Cabomba Aubl. The leaf shape and mucilage coating on submerged parts makes this plant easily identifiable.