Damasonium

Scientific name

Damasonium Miller

Common names

starfruit

Family

Alismataceae

Could be confused with

Echinodorus, Ottelia, Sagittaria

Native distribution

western North America, Australia, western Europe, Mediterranean

Species commonly cultivated

Damasonium alisma Mill. (Africa, Asia, Europe)

D. californicum Torr. ex. Benth. (North America)

D. minus (R.Br.) Buchenau (Australia)

Adventive distribution

information not available

Weed status

Damasonium minus is a weed in Australian rice fields.

Habit

juveniles submerged, adults with floating to emergent leaves

Brief description

Annual. Corm-like, compact stem. Leaves in a rosette, mostly long-petiolate; leaf blades linear to ovate or elliptic, with cuneate or cordate bases. Inflorescence paniculate, of one or more simple whorls, lower whorls sometimes compound. Flowers actinomorphic, bisexual; sepals 3, green; petals 3, white or pink with yellow center; carpels 6-10 in 1 whorl. Fruit (a follicle) sharply pointed. Dispersal by fruit or by seed in water or mud.

Natural habitat

still, shallow waters, e.g. rice fields

Additional comments

Damasonium alisma is endangered in Britain.