Heteranthera dubia (Jacq.) MacMill.

Water Star-Grass


CC = 7
CW = -5
MOC = 32

© DETenaglia

Family - Pontederiaceae

Habit - Perennial, emergent aquatic forb, sometimes stranded on mud.

Heteranthera_dubia_habit.jpg Habit.

© SRTurner

Stems - Elongate, usually submerged.

Heteranthera_dubia_stem.jpg Stem and node.

© DETenaglia

Leaves - Alternate, to 15 cm, 2-5 mm wide, linear, tapered to sessile base.

Heteranthera_dubia_leaves.jpg Leaves.

© SRTurner

Inflorescence - Flowers solitary and sessile in leaf axils.

Heteranthera_dubia_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Perianth of 6 tepals, yellow, actinomorphic, with elongate tube to 7 cm long, lobes linear, to 12 mm. Stamens 3, all same length. Ovary superior, with 3 locules. Style 1.

Heteranthera_dubia_flower.jpg Flower.

© DETenaglia

Heteranthera_dubia_flower1.jpg Corolla

© SRTurner

Heteranthera_dubia_flower2.jpg Style and stamens.

© SRTurner

Fruit - Slender, thin-walled capsules to 2 cm long. Seeds 7-30, 0.5-1.5 mm long, with 8-22 longitudinal ribs.

Flowering - June - September.

Habitat - Streams, springs and spring branches, sloughs.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Other info. - This little species grows in scattered areas mostly in the southern half of the state, always in very wet places (mud to shallow water). It occurs widely scattered throughout much of the continental U.S. It is an easy plant to identify due to its long, linear leaves, solitary yellow flowers, and wet habitat. There are five species of Heteranthera in Missouri. Like many plants whose common name contains the word "grass," this one is unrelated to the grasses. Some members of this genus have stamens of different lengths within each flower, a trait responsible for the Heteranthera genus name. Some botanists segregate H. dubia into its own genus, Zosterella.

Photographs taken along the shores of the Current River, Shannon County, MO., 8-2-03 (DETenaglia), also at Busch Wildlife Area, St. Charles County, MO, 7-29-2015, and Onondaga Cave State Park, Crawford County, MO, 7-24-2018 (SRTurner).