Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Colombian Watermeal - Wolffia columbiana   Karsten
Members of Araceae:
Members of Wolffia with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 5 » Order Arales » Family Araceae
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DistributionWidely scattered in the Coastal Plain, and one collection from the eastern Piedmont. As VA has fairly numerous collections -- about 15 counties -- there should be many more NC county records than just the five shown on the map. Certainly, this very tiny species is under-collected, and it likely is present over all of the Coastal Plain and into the the lower Piedmont.

This is a very widespread species across North America, from Canada south to southern FL, southern TX, and southern CA. There are relatively few collections from the southern Atlantic Coast states as compared with farther north and west, apparently a real distinction.
AbundanceSeemingly rare to very uncommon in the Coastal Plain, but certainly under-collected, owing to its tiny size. Presumably very rare in the Piedmont. The website editors recommend a Watch List status.
HabitatAs with other duckweeds and watermeal species, it occurs on still waters of ponds, pools, lakes, and swamps.
PhenologyFlowers are not usually seen.
IdentificationThis floating species has no roots under the tiny fronds, which are barely 1 mm long at most. The shape is rather globoid or rounded, about as thick as wide. The similar W. brasiliensis has a more ellipsoid shape, distinctly flattened. Wolfiella gladiata also has no roots, but the fronds are sickle-shaped. The Lemna and Spirodela species have roots under the fronds. This species is considered to be the smallest vascular plant on earth.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS2 [S2?]
Global RankG5
State Status[W7]
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.

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