General: Bur-reed family (Sparaniaceae).
Sparganium americanum (SPAM)
Sparganium androcladum (SPAN)
Sparganium angustifolium (SPAN2)
Sparganium erectum (SPER)
Sparganium eurycarpum (SPEU)
Sparganium fluctuans (SPFL)
Sparganium glomeratum (SPGL)
Sparganium hyperboreum (SPHY)
Sparganium natans (SPNA)
These bur-reed species are native, herbaceous marsh or pond plants with rootstocks. The leaves are alternate, stiff and erect or limp and floating, linear, and internally septate (The Great Plains Flora Association 1986). The individual flowers are small and occur in separate male (staminate) or female (pistillate) globular clusters on the same plant. (Steyermark 1963).
Distribution: A genus of twenty or more Sparanium species is widely distributed in temperate and colder latitudes of the eastern and western hemispheres, and in eastern North America (Braun 1967). For current distribution, please consult the Plant profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site.
Localities documented in Tropicos sources
Canada (North America)
United States (North America)
Colombia (South America)
Note: This information is based on publications available through Tropicos and may not represent the entire distribution. Tropicos does not categorize distributions as native or non-native.
- Anonymous. 1986. List-Based Rec., Soil Conserv. Serv., U.S.D.A. Database of the U.S.D.A., Beltsville. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1103
- Radford, A. E., H. E. Ahles & C. R. Bell. 1968. Man. Vasc. Fl. Carolinas i–lxi, 1–1183. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/636
- Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston. 1970. Man. Vasc. Pl. Texas i–xv, 1–1881. The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1493
- Small, J. K. 1933. Man. S.E. Fl. i–xxii, 1–1554. Published by the Author, New York. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1515
- Great Plains Flora Association. 1986. Fl. Great Plains i–vii, 1–1392. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/637
- Fernald, M. 1950. Manual (ed. 8) i–lxiv, 1–1632. American Book Co., New York. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1327
- Voss, E. G. 1972. Gymnosperms and Monocots. i–xv, 1–488. In Michigan Fl. Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1494
- Godfrey, R. K. & J. W. Wooten. 1979. Aquatic Wetland Pl. S.E. U.S. Monocot. 1–712. The University of Georgia Press, Athens. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1710
- Idárraga-Piedrahita, A., R. D. C. Ortiz, R. Callejas Posada & M. Merello. 2011. Flora de Antioquia. Catálogo de las Plantas Vasculares, vol. 2. Listado de las Plantas Vasculares del Departamento de Antioquia. Pp. 1-939. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/100008595
- Gleason, H. A. & A. J. Cronquist. 1968. The Pteridophytoa, Gymnospermae and Monocotyledoneae. 1: 1–482. In H. A. Gleason Ill. Fl. N. U.S. (ed. 3). New York Botanical Garden, New York. http://www.tropicos.org/Reference/1495
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
This species grows best on wet ground in rich soil. It prefers full sun but can tolerate some shade. Sparanium species is mostly found in muddy or shallow water of swamps and ponds. For current distribution, please consult the Plant profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site
Propagation by Seed: Sparanium seeds should be sown as soon as they are ripe in the greenhouse. This species should be placed in pots standing in two to three centimeters of water. Place the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle
and gradually increase the depth of water with plant growth. Plant Sparanium sp to their permanent positions in the summer.
Large divisions can be planted directly into their permanent positions. While allowing smaller potted divisions to grow in a cold frame until they are well established and ready for summer out-planting to their permanent location..
Life History and Behavior
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Sparganium americanum
No available public DNA sequences.
Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sparganium americanum
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
Please consult the Plants Web site and your State Department of Natural Resources for this plant’s current status, such as, state noxious status and wetland indicator values.
Cultivars, improved and selected materials (and area of origin)
Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (formerly Soil Conservation Service) office for more information. Look in the phone book under ”United States Government.” The Natural Resources Conservation Service will be listed under the subheading “Department of Agriculture.”
Seeds of most aquatic plants should be sown as soon as they are ripe. The seeds lose viability quickly if it is allowed to dry out. If immediate sowing is inconvenient, store seeds in moist peat, or substitute in a plastic bag and keep frost-free (Heuser 1997).
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Ethnobotanic..The Klamath Indians dug the tubers (possibly Sparganium angustifolium, S. erectum, and/or S. eurycarpum) produced in late autumn from the creeping rootstocks of some of the species of this genus, and use them as food (Steyermark 1963). An infusion of Sparanium erectum can be mixed with other plant leaves and used in the treatment of chills (Moerman 1998). A decoction of Sparganium stoloniferum root was used in the treatment of chest pains and abdominal pain (Yeung 1985).
E. O. Beal (1977) recognized three morphologically overlapping races of Sparganium americanum: the coastal race, growing in the lower coastal plain from Virginia to Florida and Louisiana, and north in the Mississippi Embayment to Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Missouri, has leaves wide for the species, rachises 2--5-branched, and stigmas 1.5+ mm long; the Appalachian race, growing in the Appalachian region from Maine to western North Carolina and in the Ozark Mountains, has leaves narrow for the species, rachises simple to sparingly branched, and stigmas 0.9 mm or less; and the ubiquitous race, growing throughout the range of the species with increasing robustness southward, morphologically overlaps the others.
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