Alisma triviale Pursh

northern water-plantain

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Northern water-plantain can tolerate disturbance, and it withstands drought conditions better than most aquatic plants. The Cherokee used it to make a poultice to treat sores, wounds, bruises, swelling, and ulcers, and the Cree took the stem base internally for stomach and bowel conditions.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), lacustrine (in lakes or ponds), marshes, riverine (in rivers or streams), shores of rivers or lakes, wetland margins (edges of wetlands)

Characteristics

Habitat
  • aquatic
  • wetlands
New England state
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
Leaf arrangement
basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
Leaf blade length
30–350 mm
Petal or sepal number
there are three petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Petal color
white
Specific leaf type
the leaf is not divided, rather the blade is made up of one segment
Floating leaf shape
NA
Underwater leaf blade width
0 mm
Fruit type (general)
the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
Underwater leaf length
0 mm
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Turion length
    0 mm
  • Flowers
    Anther color
    there is a noticeable pink, reddish or purplish tint to the anthers
    Anther length
    0.6–1 mm
    Carpels fused
    the carpel is solitary or (if 2 or more) the carpels are not fused to one another
    Flower lower lip length
    0 mm
    Flower position
    • the flowers are above the surface of the water
    • the flowers are below the surface of the water
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Inflorescence length
    Up to 1000 mm
    Inflorescence type
    the inflorescence is a panicle (branched, with the individual flowers on stalks)
    Length of peduncle
    100–1000 mm
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of carpels
    At least 3
    Ovary position
    the sepals and/or petals are attached below the ovary
    Palate on corolla
    no
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal color
    white
    Petal fringed edges
    the petals are fringed
    Petal hairs on inner/upper surface
    there are no hairs on the inner/upper petal surface
    Petal length
    3.8–4.5 mm
    Petal number
    3
    Petal or sepal number
    there are three petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    Pistil number
    6 or more
    Sepal appearance
    the sepals resemble leaves in color and texture
    Sepal length
    3–6 mm
    Sepal number
    3
    Spur length
    0 mm
    Stamen number
    6
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Stamens fused
    the stamens are not fused to one another
    Stamens fused to petals
    the stamens are not fused to the petals or tepals
    Style length
    0.4–0.6 mm
    Style number
    15–20
  • Fruits or seeds
    Fruit length
    1.8–3 mm
    Fruit type (general)
    the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is an achene (dry, usually 1-seeded, does not separate or split open at maturity)
    Fruit width
    1.5–2 mm
  • Glands or sap
    Oil glands on nodes
    none of the nodes have oil glands
    Sap
    the sap is milky and opaque, and may be white or colored
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives more than two years
    Root septa
    the roots do not have transverse septa
    Roots floating in water
    there are no clusters of roots floating in the water
    Turions
    there are no turions on the plant
    Underground organs
    the plant has a rhizome (a horizontal underground stem with roots growing from it)
  • Leaves
    Bract position (Sparganium)
    NA
    Bract relative length
    At least 1379 mm
    Bracts
    the flowers or their pedicels have bracts at their bases
    Floating leaf basal lobes
    NA
    Floating leaf blade width
    0 mm
    Floating leaf length
    0 mm
    Floating leaf shape
    NA
    Floating leaf tip
    NA
    Floral bract form
    the bracts are roughly as lobed as the foliage leaves
    Leaf arrangement
    basal: the leaves are growing only at the base of the plant
    Leaf blade length
    30–350 mm
    Leaf blade veins
    the lateral veins are parallel or slightly arched in the direction of the tip
    Leaf blade width
    30–120 mm
    Leaf special features
    none of the mentioned special features are present
    Leaf-like branch segments
    0
    Leaf-like branch shape
    NA
    Specific leaf type
    the leaf is not divided, rather the blade is made up of one segment
    Staminate bract edge (Myriophyllum)
    NA
    Stipule appearance
    NA
    Stipule fused to leaf
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on the plant
    Stipules fused around stem
    NA
    Trap-bladder length
    0 mm
    Underwater leaf blade edges
    NA
    Underwater leaf blade shape
    NA
    Underwater leaf blade veins
    0
    Underwater leaf blade width
    0 mm
    Underwater leaf length
    0 mm
    Underwater leaf stalk
    NA
    Underwater leaf stalk length
    0 mm
    Underwater leaf tip shape
    NA
    Veins in floating leaf
    0
  • Place
    Habitat
    • aquatic
    • wetlands
    New England state
    • Connecticut
    • Maine
    • Massachusetts
    • New Hampshire
    • Rhode Island
    • Vermont
    Specific habitat
    • edges of wetlands
    • in lakes or ponds
    • in rivers or streams
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • marshes
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Flowering stem growth form
    the flowering stem is upright

Wetland Status

Occurs only in wetlands. (Wetland indicator code: OBL)

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
present
Maine
present
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
present
Rhode Island
present
Vermont
present

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

Yes

Sometimes Confused With

Alisma subcordatum:
petals +/- as long as the sepals and fruits 1.5-2.2 mm long (vs. A. triviale, with petals conspicuously longer than the sepals and fruits 1.8-3 mm long).

Synonyms

  • Alisma brevipes Greene
  • Alisma plantago-aquatica L. var. americanum J.A. Schultes

Family

Alismataceae

Genus

Alisma

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

3.  Alisma triviale Pursh N

northern water-plantain. Alisma brevipes Greene; A. plantago-aquatica L. var. americanum J.A. Schultes • CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT; throughout. Marshes, muddy shorelines, ditches, and shallow, circumneutral water of lakes and slow-moving streams.