Mar. 18, 2022

watermeal, Wolffia columbiana

A week or so ago I posted a picture od a duckweed, and asked for confirmation of the identification. The most frequent response was pond scum. Come on, people! Have a little respect! This is good stuff! Good enough to eat, actually. The little dots you see here among the duckweed aren't ducklingweed. Those are watermeal, the worlds smallest flowering plant. This species is at most 1.2 mm long. Others are even smaller. They are among the most nutrient rich plants on the planet, and actually meals for people in south Asia. Don't think I'll try that the next time I visit this roadside ditch. What unseen critters might be floating around here? It would be interesting to know more about just how they go about processing watermeal before it becomes a meal in India. This watermeal grows just about everywhere, carried around by waterbirds it sticks to. We have it in every state except AK, AZ, HI, NM, NV, UT, WA, and WY, and it's in AB, BC, MB, NB, ON, QC, and SK. Lenawee Co MI, 8/11/11. Arum family, Araceae.