Quick Facts

Species Type



Grows in quiet, non-tidal fresh waters such as streams, lakes and ditches; occasionally found in small, shallow tidal freshwater creeks and rivers


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

Conservation Status



Water starwort has bright green, oval- or egg-shaped leaves on the upper part of its stem and straight leaves on the lower, submerged part of its stem. Two leaves grow at each joint on the stem.


Ducks feed on the leaves and seeds.

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Water starwort reproduces both sexually and asexually. It flowers from July to September, forming numerous seeds.

Did You Know?

  • Water starwort provides habitat for fish and aquatic insects.
  • Ducks feed on the leaves and seeds of water starwort.
  • 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