Sagittaria brevirostra Mack. & Bush

Midwestern Arrowhead

Sagittaria brevirostra plant

Family - Alismataceae

Leaves - Long petiolate to 1.5 m, petioles inflated and spongy. Blades of emergent leaves hastate or sagittate, glabrous.

Sagittaria_brevirostra_leafLeaf lower surface.

Inflorescence - Racemes with whorled nodes. Bracts at nodes to 4.0 cm, lanceolate, with narrowly actute or acuminate tips.


Sagittaria_brevirostra_bractsBracts at inflorescence node.

Flowers - Unisexual or perfect; those at lower nodes usually perfect. Pedicels to 25 mm, not thickened. Stamen filaments longer than anthers, not basally swollen, glabrous.


Sagittaria_brevirostra_flower2Pistillate or perfect flowers.

Fruits - Globose clusters of achenes. Fruits obovate, 2.1-3.1 mm long, the beak 0.4-1.7 mm long, narrowly triangular, erect to ascending

Sagittaria_brevirostra_fruitsFruit clusters.

Sagittaria_brevirostra_achenesAchenes, beaks ascending.

Flowering - June - September.

Habitat - Mud flats, muddy margins of ponds, sloughs, and ditches.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Other info. - This is a common inhabitant of areas which remain muddy and open throughout much of the growing season. There are several other members of the genus in Missouri. This one can be identified by the long, tapered bracts at the inflorescence nodes, the sagittate leaves, and the ascending beaks on the achenes.
This plant has a North American distribution similar to that of S. calycina. Both are much less widely distributed than S. latifolia

Photographs taken near Labadie, Franklin County, MO, 7-15-2013, and at Shaw Nature Reserve, Franklin County, MO, 9-10-2017 (SRTurner).