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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Alisma triviale - northern water plantain

Synonyms: Alisma brevipes, Alisma plantago-auatica ssp. brevipes, Alisma plantago-aquatica var. americanum
Other Common Names: mud-plantain
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Alismataceae

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Max Licher @
Basal leaves
Max Licher @
Plant - summer
East of Stoneman Lake
Max Licher @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: An aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial herb.
Identification notes: Perennial that grows in shallow water; leaves on long leaf stalks that rise above or float on water, leaves ovate to broadly elliptic. Flower head pyramidal, floral bracts hold papery greenish-white flowers, 6 stamens in one whorl.
Height: 3 feet


Habitat Description: Aquatic or semi-aquatic herb. Grows in water, in swamps, on muddy banks, or occasionally in wet sand.
Plant Communities: Riparian
Elevation: 4000 - 8000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Aug
Description: 3 rounded, notched petals; 3 green sepals showing between petals; 6 green-tipped stamens; flower to 3/8 inch wide. Flower stems are many branched. Branches and branchlets arranged in whorls around stem.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Dark green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Basal     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are all basal. Leathery, broadly elliptical, to 4 inches wide and to 9 inches long with stem.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Brown   
Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: Fruit lateral walls thick, opaque, fruiting heads 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter, achenes 1/16 to 1/8 inch.
Seed Notes: Each flower is replaced by a flat whorl of seeds (technically, they are achenes). Each flat-sided seed is longer than broad, with a tiny beak at the top.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Content Questions/Comments: Email Mary Barnes  
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