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Water Starwort

Callitriche spp.

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)
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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.

Appearance:

  • 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

Habitat:

  • 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

Range:

  • Found in tidal and non-tidal fresh waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed

Predators:

  • Ducks feed on the leaves and seeds

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

  • Reproduces both sexually and asexually
  • Flowers from July-September, forming numerous seeds

Other Facts:

  • 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:

Places:




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