My Bantam Lake

Water Chestnut

Written on 06/18/2018


Trapa natans

Water Chestnut is an invasive plant species that originated in Asia and Europe. An invasive plant has the ability to thrive and spread aggressively outside its native range. This is harmful to the local ecosystem and has the potential to greatly reduce the natural biodiversity of an area by outcompeting native species. This plant is rooted to the substrate but floats above the water, with flaccid, submersed stems that can be up to 5 meters long. It has triangular leaves that are toothed along the front edge and have inflated petioles. Leaves float in a rosette pattern with small, four-petal white flowers located in the center. Leaves measure 2-4 centimeters in length. The Water Chestnut plant reproduces via seeds and fragmentation, and has a hard fruit with four sharp spines.

 

Sources: 

Connecticut's Invasive Aquatic and Wetland Plants Identification Guide, Bulletin 1027, Invasive Aquatic Plant Program, The Connecticut Agricultural Experimentation Station

Invasive Plant Species, National Agricultural Library, United States Department of Agriculture