syn Lemna major
) is a species of duckweed in the family Araceae. It is also known as Giant duckweed, Common duckmeat, and Duckmeal. Greater duckweed can be found in fresh water habitat around the world, in fresh water ponds, marshes, and quiet streams.
Greater duckweed is a diminutive floating aquatic perennial plant, growing in dense colonies, and forms a mat on the surface of the water. The leaves and stems are merged into a round, flat, smooth disc, known as thallus or frond, 0.5-1 cm wide, with 6-12 minute roots. The thallus is green above and reddish-purple underside. Two budding pouches are located on either side of the basal end. The thallus can be solitary or in connected clonal clusters of 2-5. Greater duckweed bears a pouch containing male and female flowers, and the plant often overwinters as a turion. Turion is derived from Latin word turio, meaning 'shoot'. Turions are rootless, brown or olive in color, and 1-2 mm in diameter, and laterally winged to apex. The seeds are minute with 12-20 distinct ribs.
Greater duckweeds are useful as a water crop as the can acclimatize themselves to almost any growing condition. They reproduce quickly, and extending over large surface areas, and are easily harvest. Greater duckweeds are a source of food for the animals and poultry as they contain high fat and protein.
Propagation is by vegetative reproduction. The plant divides freely in the growing season.
Greater duckweed (Spirodela polyrrhiza syn Lemna major)
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