Alisma triviale (Northern Water Plantain)
|Also known as:||Large-flowered Water Plantain|
|Family:||Alismataceae (Water Plantain)|
|Habitat:||sun; bogs, swamps, shallow mucky water, along shores|
|Bloom season:||June - September|
|Plant height:||6 to 40 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: OBL MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are whorled in open clusters on many branches coming off the main stem. Individual flowers are about ¼ inch across, 3 white petals with a spot of yellow at the base, 3 sepals that are much shorter than the petals, and 6 stamens surrounding the yellowish to green center.
Leaves are in a basal rosette, generally oval with a pointed tip, tapering some, rounded or flattened at the base. Leaves are up to 7 inches long and 3 inches wide, hairless, toothless, with mostly parallel veins and a long smooth leaf stalk.
Fruit is a ring of seeds less than ¼ inch in diameter that turns from green to brown as it ripens.
Notes:There are 3 species of Water-plantain in Minnesota, Alisma triviale being the most common. A. subcordatum has smaller flowers with sepals as long as or longer than the petals, but is otherwise nearly identical. A. gramineum has very narrow leaves and is the least common in the state. Water-plantain flowers are also similar to Arrowhead, but Arrowhead flowers are much larger—½ to 1 inch across.
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- Northern Water Plaintain plant, about 3 feet tall
- more plants
- close-up of a flower
- a colony of plants in shallow water, not yet in bloom
Photos taken at Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Park, Shoreview, MN, June-July 2008 and July-August 2009. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk taken in Anoka county.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?
on: 2014-01-06 11:52:05
In doing plant surveys at Indian Heights park in Rochester, MN, we documented Northern Water Plaintain. Interestingly, it was in a wet area of a former quarry on top of the hill!
on: 2016-07-27 16:19:25
A half dozen plants found on private property along the Chanarambie Creek, just northwest of Edgerton.
on: 2017-08-23 12:56:41
I have several of these plants on my property near the Credit River in Savage, MN. They are blooming now.
on: 2019-08-10 20:48:56
I found some amongst quartzite outcrops.
on: 2020-06-30 06:34:35
I found one plant near my garden swamp. It is just starting to bloom so I checked with the UofM Master Gardeners for identification.
on: 2020-08-10 18:27:29
A few plants blooming along the Mississippi River floodplain in Cloquet Island Overlook Park near Dayton.
on: 2021-02-22 11:48:17
In the Summer of 2020, while walking my dog on N. Basswood Ave, I'd been noticing the large number of tadpoles swimming in a VERY small pond on the West side of the road at a culvert. Eventually I noticed at the edges of the pond, a number of broad leaved plants that had inflorescences of tiny white flowers on them. I looked at a few plant field guides and identified them as 'Alisma' Water Plantains.
on: 2021-02-22 12:50:41
I should probably have used the word "panicle", not "inflorescence". This picture looks exactly like the ones I saw: https://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection/wtu20000/md/wtu020271.jpg
on: 2021-02-22 15:35:45
Sherman, "inflorescence" is a correct term; panicle, spike, flat-top, etc. are different forms of an inflorescence.
on: 2021-07-10 22:41:57
Growing in the snowmobile path at Linwood Lake Public Boat Access. Was very wet there this March but totally dry now. It is a low area so usually not dry.
on: 2022-08-08 11:02:31
found in a disturbed watery area on the ski hill.