Indian Duckweed
Share Foto info
Indian Duckweed
P Native Unknown Photo: Sushain Babu
Common name: Indian Duckweed, Indian watermeal
Botanical name: Wolffia microscopica    Family: Araceae (Arum family)
Synonyms: Grantia microscopica

Indian Duckweed is one of the strangest flowering plants on the planet. It appears to be native to subtropical and tropical India. The plant body is polygonal to round (rounded), with a flat upper surface and a lower side that tapers into a conical appendage that points down into the water. This appendage resembles a short root, but it does not appear to perform the function of a true root. The unusual plant appears to be a miniature green golf tee floating upright on the water's surface. This shape is unique to the wolffia species. Indian Duckweed has one of the fastest rates of vegetative reproduction, in addition to its unique shape. It can produce a smaller daughter plant in its basal reproductive pouch every 30-36 hours by budding. Among all wolffia species, the unusual "golf tee" shape is unique. A small male organ (stamen) can be seen protruding from the plant's upper (expanded) side. Indian Duckweed is over 20% protein by dry weight and has high content of essential amino acids. They have historically been collected from the water and eaten as a vegetable in Asia.

Identification credit: Sushain Babu Photographed in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh.

• Is this flower misidentified? If yes,