Landoltia (Spirodela) punctata

Images courtesy of Sr. Alberto Godoy, Panama City, Panama 

S. punctata photographed in shallow water.
S. punctata, close-up, dorsal view from a scanner.
S. punctata, close-up, ventral view from a scanner.

Landoltia (Spirodela) punctata is a small floating plant that can grow into dense masses in still water.  The photos at right show single plants, but this species usually has two or more fronds attached together as in the photo on the left.  Landoltia (Spirodela) punctata may be easily confused with Spirodela, but there are some distinct differences.  The leaves are more oval or shoe-shaped than Spirodela, and their shape makes it resemble a large Lemna species. There are 2-5 roots descending from each frond.  Spirodela usually has many more roots (up to 9) on each mature frond (1, 2).  Landoltia (Spirodela) punctata flowers more commonly than Spirodela (3).

In the United States L. punctata is considered a nonindigenous species, since it is considered to have originated in Asia and Australia (4).


(1) University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, (2000) "Particulars and Photographs, Landoltia punctata (Spirodela punctata)" (downloaded 9/23/2001).
(2) USGS Florida Caribbean Science Center, "Landoltia punctata", in Nonindigenous Aquatic Species, (01 February 2000).
(3) Landolt, E. 1986. The family of Lemnaceae - a monographic study. Vol 1. In: Biosystematic Investigations in the Family of Duckweeds (Lemnaceae). Veroff. Geobot. Inst. ETH, Stiftung Rubel. No. 71.
(4) US Geological Survey Florida Caribbean Science Center. Summary report of nonindigenous aquatic species in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 4. March 2001. (downloaded 03 August 2013).

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Last revised:  August 03, 2013