American Frog's Bits
Limnobium spongia
(Bosc) L.C. Richard ex Steudel
Hydrocharitaceae (Tape-Grass) Family

American Frog's Bit is a native herbaceous perennial found in scattered locations throughout the state. Aside from rivers and lakes, the plant is found in sloughs, in gum cypress and in beaver ponds. It is colonial by stolons.

The leaves are floating or raised above the water's surface, forming a rosette. They are cordate to reniform in outline, petiolate, entire, and glabrous. The floating leaves are thick and spongy. The emersed leaves lack the spongy tissue and are relatively thin.

The flowers are solitary. The male flowers consist of 9-12 white stamens. Female flowers have 3 white sepals and 3 white petals.

Fruit is a capsule with 200 or more small seeds. After fertilization, the stalks recurve and the fruit develops under water. At maturity the seeds are released in a gelatinous mass.

The foliage is eaten by turtles, muskrats, and deer. The gelatinous seed mass is consumed by water fowl.

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