How does duckweed reproduce?


Quick Answer

Duckweed mostly reproduces through its vegetative growth with seeds and dormant vegetative buds. Duckweed is also known as the world's smallest flowering plants with a rooting system that allows them to derive nutrients from the water. These flowers can be so small that they can only be seen with a microscope.

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Full Answer

Duckweed can reproduce in two ways. The first way is through seeds that lie dormant until the growing season. Another way duckweed reproduces is through turions. These are vegetative buds that lie dormant during the winter. They are actually heavier than water, so they sink to the bottom and are covered in mud until the growing season resumes.

Duckweed roots tend to grow very long when phosphate and nitrogen are difficult to find. When phosphate and nitrogen levels are high, however, the roots tend to have a much shorter length. Nutrients are absorbed through the frond, which is the name for the bottom half of the leaf.

The roots are also known to entangle with one another. The duckweed plant does this to stabilize its clusters against the effects of wind, rain and other types of weathering forces. This is meant to keep the frond in constant contact with the water for nutrient absorption. Duckweed is known to grow extremely fast, covering large bodies of water during the course of just one summer season. During the winter, the duckweed plant dies back and recedes its cover.

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