Re: Water Lenses

Clinton Morse - EEB Greenhouse Manager (EBGADM01@UCONNVM.UCONN.EDU)
Wed, 22 Feb 1995 08:55:49 -0400

Lemna minor, 'Duckweed' in our parts, is indeed a small flowering plant but
it is not THE smallest. The smallest recognized flowering plant to date is
Wolfia microscopica, which, like Lemna, is in the Lemnaceae. It is very
similar to Lemna but the plant body can attain the mammoth size of 1/32 of
an inch in length!

We use Lemna as a surface plant in many of our aquatics tanks, especially
emergents, and it does tend to help keep algae growth down. Some of the
aquatic Utrics seem to do well under such conditions, This years largest
hibernaculums on U. vulgaris were formed under a thin mat of Duckweed
(Non-scientific - the duckweed may have nothing to do with it, I dunno). We
periodically scoop a couple of handfuls off the top to reduce the density
and allow some light into the tank. We also grow our Elodea (Anachris?)
under a fairly dense layer and it does better that similar plants in an open
tank. Now if only I could reliably control the snails..

Clinton Morse - Greenhouse Manager
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
75 North Eagleville Rd., Box U-42
University of Connecticut, Storrs CT 06269
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