This duckweed is one of Britain's most common small water plants, which forms familiar green mats covering stagnant water bodies (4). It has a simple plant body, known as a thallus, which floats on the surface of the water and measures up to five millimetres in diameter (2). A single root hangs down into the water (2).
This species spreads mainly through vegetative reproduction(3), but flowers are occasionally produced in shallow water exposed to the full sun (2). When covering the entire surface of a pond, it can make the water appear solid, and in parts of the north-west of England children were scared away from such ponds by the myth of Jenny Green-teeth, a pond elf or monster whose presence was indicated by duckweed; she was said to lure children into ponds and drown them (5).
Type of simple plant body that does not have stems, leaves and roots.
Type of asexual reproduction (reproduction without recombination of genetic material) that results in the propagation of plants using only the vegetative tissues such as leaves or stems. The resulting plant is genetically identical to the original plant. A well-known example of this is the reproduction of strawberry plants from 'runners'.
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