Watermeal Wolffia spp.

Very Small seed like plant, looks like little footballs..

  • English Name: Watermeal
  • Latin Name: Wolffia spp.

The Ways of Wolffia Duckweeds

Like other duckweeds, the Wolffia grow in stagnant or very slow-moving water, in dugouts, ponds, marshes, and streams. They are native to every continent and are common across the US. They also have the striking characteristic of preferring water with high concentrations of nitrates and phosphates, which makes them efficient water cleaners of sewage, animal waste and industrial waste. A curious ability of these weeds is that they use the underside of their leaves to draw in nutrients perhaps to compensate for having no real roots. Again, like other duckweeds, Watermeal weeds have protein content that beats just about all other plants, including soya beans their protein content is, in fact, closer to that of animals. They also grow incredibly fast, doubling their area of cover in 36 hours in good water. That combination of fast growth and high protein has made the duckweeds a much studied candidates for animal feed farming.

Controlling the Spread of Watermeal Duckweed

All Duckweeds are favored animals and birds food. They are also efficient, natural water purifiers in areas with human, animal and some types of industrial waste. But they are also weeds that spread super-fast, often beating all efforts by animals and birds to keep them in check. The effect is quite unsightly and encumbering for fishing, navigation and irrigation. Where the Watermeal weed gets out of hand, the normal recourse is to physically drag the weed out of the water. Not all plants are ever removed, of course, but the bulk of them can be safely removed. I very fine netting is the only way to physically remove this micro plant... Chemicals can be used but if you don't get it all it comes back very fast.. The DeSkuzzer is unable to effectively pick up this weed..