Water starwort has straight leaves on the lower part of the stem and egg-shaped leaves on the upper part of the stem. (Maryland Department of Natural Resources)
Water starwort is a bay grass with bright green, egg-shaped leaves that float on the surface of the water. It grows in quiet fresh waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Bright green, oval- or egg-shaped leaves on the upper part of the stem
Straight leaves on the lower, submerged part of the stem
Two leaves grow at each joint on the stem
Grows in quiet, non-tidal fresh waters such as streams, lakes and ditches
Occasionally found in small, shallow tidal freshwater creeks and rivers
Egg-shaped leaves float in clusters on the water’s surface
Found in tidal and non-tidal fresh waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed
Ducks feed on the leaves and seeds
Reproduction and Life Cycle:
Reproduces both sexually and asexually
Flowers from July-September, forming numerous seeds
Provides habitat for fish and aquatic insects
There are four species of water starwort that grow in North America, but they are so similar that you need a microscope to distinguish them.
Sources and Additional Information: