Brasenia schreberi J.F. Gmel.

Brasenia schreberi plant

Family - Cambombaceae

Stems - Aquatic slender stolons, usually submerged but sometimes floating to surface, gelatinous.

Leaves - Alternate, peltate, long-petiolate. Petioles and underside of leaf blades heavily gelatinous and reddish-purple below. Blades elliptic, to 12cm long, +/-7cm broad, glabrous and green above.

Brasenia schreberi petiolePetiole and underside of leaf.

Inflorescence - Single axillary flowers on long red peduncles. Flowers exserted 5-10 cm from waters surface.

Flowers - Petals 3, 1.7cm long, 4mm broad, reddish-pink, glabrous. Stamens +/-25, erect. Filaments to 1.2cm long, pink to purple near apex, glabrous. Anthers deep purple, 3.1mm long. Pistils +/-8, free. Ovary 5mm long, pink, glabrous to puberulent at apex, unilocular, ovules 1-4 per locule. Placentation parietal. Style 5mm long, deep purple at apex. Sepals 3, similar to petals, reddish-pink, to 1.5cm long, 5mm broad, scarious, lance-oblong to linear-oblong, rounded at apex. Petals and sepals also be grouped as tepals. Fruits to 8mm long, maturing submersed.

Brasenia schreberi flower

Flowering - May - September.

Habitat - Aquatic in ponds, lakes, sloughs and swamps. In still water.

Origin - Native to U.S., Central America, Asia, Australia, Africa.

Other info. - This plant is exists in scattered locations throughout Missouri but is not extremely common. It is one of the easiest plant to identify in the field because of the small peltate leaves and the thickly gelatinous petioles and leaf blades. Where the plant is abundant, it makes for good fishing.

Photographs taken at the Irish Wilderness, Mark Twain National Forest, Oregon County, MO., 7-15-00.