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Alisma subcordatum Raf.
Family: Alismataceae
American water plantain,  more...
[Alisma plantago-aquatica subsp. subcordatum (Raf.) Hultén,  more]
Alisma subcordatum image
Paul Rothrock  
Herbs, to 6 dm. Leaves emersed, rarely floating, petiolate; blade ovate to elliptic, to 15 ´ 10 cm. Inflorescences to 1 m. Flowers chasmogamous; sepals 1.5--2.5(--6) mm; petals white, 1--3 mm, margins slightly erose, apex mostly acuminate; anthers rounded, 0.4--0.6 mm; style ± curved, 0.2--0.4 mm, ¼ length ovary. Fruiting heads 2--4 mm diam; achenes obliquely ovoid, 1.5--2.2 mm, abaxially rounded, with 1 abaxial groove; beak ascending. 2n =14. Flowering spring--fall. Shallow ponds, stream margins, marshes, and ditches; 50--1500 m; N.B., Ont., Que.; Ala., Ark., Colo., Conn., Del., D.C., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn. Miss., Mo., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., W.Va., Wis.; Mexico.
Perennial aquatic herb to 0.6 m tall Leaves: emersed (rarely floating), triangular-stalked, to 18 cm long and 12 cm wide, egg-shaped to elliptic. Inflorescence: loosely branched (panicle), terminating a stalk to 1 m long. Flowers: bisexual, with 1.5 - 2.5 mm long sepals. The three white petals are 1.3 - 2.5 mm long with a long pointed tip and slightly unevenly cut margins. Fruit: a cluster of achenes 2 - 4 mm in diameter. Each achene has an ascending beak, is 1.5 - 2.2 mm long, and has a rounded outer edge with a single groove.

Similar species: The similar Alisma triviale has flowers greater than 4 mm across and achenes greater than 2 mm long.

Flowering: early July to early September

Habitat and ecology: Frequent in marshes, shallow water, and ditches.

Occurence in the Chicago region: native

Etymology: Alisma is the classical Greek name for the water plantain. Subcordatum means "somewhat heart-shaped."

Author: The Morton Arboretum

Much like no. 1 [Alisma triviale Pursh], but with smaller fls; sep 1.5-2.3 mm; pet 1.8-2.5 נ1.4-2.0 mm, barely or scarcely longer than the sep; anthers 0.4-0.6 mm; style very short, 0.2-0.4 mm; achenes 1.5-2.2 mm; 2n=14. Usually in shallow water; Vt. and Mass. to N.D., s. to Fla. and Tex. (A. plantago-aquatica var. parviflorum) Variously reported to intergrade with no. 1 or to be genetically isolated from it.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
Infrequent to frequent throughout the state, being more common in the lake area where dredged ditches are more frequent. It is found in muddy or mucky soil in ditches, ponds, and sloughs and about lakes.