Wolffia angusta Facts
- The astonishing Wolffia angusta represents one of the smallest known flowering plants in the world.
- Many people also commonly refer to its genus as either Duckweed or Watermeal.
- This remarkable plant also holds the record for producing the smallest known fruit; known as a utricle.
- Fortunately, Wolffia angusta remains common enough that it holds the listing of Species of Least Concern with the IUCN.
Wolffia angusta Physical Characteristics
Wolffia angusta typically develops as a minute, and rootless, aquatic plant. In coloring, it usually appears either green or yellowish green.
Each of the numerous individuals produced also only reaches a length of roughly 0.25 in (0.6 mm). Their width measures even less, rarely exceeding 0.012 in (0.3 mm).
Most commonly, it blooms in large groupings on the surfaces of still bodies of water. Usually, these consist of rather small ponds.
The fruit, while obviously rather tiny, grows in prodigious numbers. In addition, the individuals typically appear in enormous groupings. Quite often these will cover the surface of entire small ponds.
Species: W. angusta
Wolffia angusta Distribution and Usefulness
The Wolffia angusta developed natively on several continents. Locations, where it grows, include portions of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore. It also appears throughout the majority of Australia.
Yet, this incredible aquatic plant grows in the greatest abundance in India. In portions of Asia, this marvel also commonly gets consumed by many individuals. Not only does the species remain edible, it actually ranks as quite healthy.
More than 40% of it consists of pure protein. This roughly equals the nutritional value of the soybean, making it a rather promising potential high-protein food source for humans.