Overview

Distribution

Global Range: Most of North America, widespread in other parts of the world except Europe. Sparse.

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Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld., N.S., Ont., Que.; Ala., Alaska, Ark., Calif., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis.; Mexico; West Indies (Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola); Central America (Guatemala and Belize); South America (se Venezuela); e Asia; Africa; e Australia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

Stems to 1--2 m, glabrous, base rhizomatous. Petiole 25--40 cm; leaf blade 5--10 × 3.5--6 cm, glabrous. Flowers 1--2 cm in diam.; peduncle 6--10 cm. Perianth dull purple; segments 10--15(--20) × 2--7 mm; petals slightly longer and narrower than sepals, apex obtuse. Stamens 1/2 as long as petals, anthers linear, ca. 4 mm. Fruit 6--10 mm. Seeds 1--2, 2.5--4 × 2--3 mm. Fl. Jun., fr. Oct. 2n = 72, 80.
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Description

Leaf blade 3.5-13.5 × 2-8 cm. Flowers ca. 2 cm diam.; perianth parts dull purple, 10-20 × 2-7 mm; petals slightly longer and narrower than sepals. Fruits 6-10 mm. Seeds 1-2, 2.5-4 × 2-3 mm. 2 n = 80.
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Diagnostic Description

Distinguished from other water lilies (NUPHAR, NYMPHAEA) by its relatively small, purplish, many pistilled flowers and by its relatively small, truly peltate (with petiole attached to the center of the blade) leaves.

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Synonym

Brasenia purpurea Caspary.
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Ecology

Habitat

Oligotrophic or mesotrophic ponds, lakes, and sluggish streams; 0-2000m.
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Habitat & Distribution

In ponds, lakes, or swamps. Anhui, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [India, Japan, Korea, Russia (Far East); Africa, Australia, North America, South America].
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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Watershield in Illinois

Brasenia schreberi (Watershield)
(the honeybee collects pollen, while other insects feed on pollen; nectar is not available as a floral reward; the dioecious flowers of Watershield are mostly wind-pollinated; in this study, a shore fly was considered a secondary pollinator of the flowers, while other insects were non-pollinating; observations are from Osborn & Schneider in Texas)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Apinae): Apis mellifera cp np

Flies
Ephydridae: Notiphila cressoni fp fq icp

Beetles
Chrysomelidae: Donacia cincticornis fp np; Curculionidae: Perigaster cretura fp np

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering/Fruiting

Flowering late spring-summer.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Brasenia schreberi

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Brasenia

Brasenia is a genus belonging to the family Cabombaceae, consisting of one extant species widely distributed in warm temperate and tropical regions of the world. Brasenia is an perennial aquatic plant with floating, peltate leaves and rhizomatous stems. It is identified by its bright green leaves, small purple flowers that bloom from June through September, and a thick mucilage that covers all of the underwater organs, including the underside of the leaves, stems, and developing buds. This mucilage may be an anti-herbivore defence trait,[1] perhaps to deter snail grazing. It grows in shallow water of lakes, rivers and beaver ponds, particularly those with somewhat acidic water.

Characteristics[edit]

Ponds along Attikamek Trail at Sault Ste. Marie Canal

Brasenia exhibits wind pollination. The flowers have a two-day blooming period. On the first day, the functionally female, or pistillate flower, extends above the surface of the water and exposes the receptive stigmas. The flower then recedes below the water surface and on the following day emerges as a functionally male, or staminate flower. It is elevated higher than on the previous day and the anther-bearing filaments are extended beyond the female carpels.[2] The anthers dehisce, releasing the pollen, and the flower is then withdrawn below the water where the fruit develops.

Uses[edit]

Brasenia is cultivated as a vegetable in China (where it is known as 莼菜,Pinyin: chún cài) and where it is used in Hangzhou in the well-known local speciality "West Lake Water Shield Soup (西湖莼菜汤) [3] and in Japan (where it is known as junsai).

The mucilage it produces has been found to have anti-algal and anti-bacterial properties that may be useful as a natural weed control[citation needed].


History[edit]

Brasenia occurred during the interglacial of Europe, but like some other aquatic species, it does not occur there now.[4]

Name[edit]

Brasenia schreberi (syn. B. nymphoides, B. peltata) has the common name water-shield (also watershield or water shield).

The genus commemorates the surgeon and Moravian missionary Christoph Brasen (1738-1774), who was the first superintendent of the Moravian mission at Nain in Labrador.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Keddy, P.A. 2010. Wetland Ecology: Principles and Conservation (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Figure 6.9
  2. ^ Taylor,Mackenzie L. and Jeffrey M. Osborn. 2006. Pollen ontogeny in Brasenia (Cabombaceae, Nymphaeales). American Journal of Botany 93: 344-356
  3. ^ ""Hangzhou Cuisine"". Retrieved April 2014. 
  4. ^ Sculthorpe, C. D. 1967. The Biology of Aquatic Vascular Plants. Reprinted 1985 Edward Arnold, by London. p. 404.
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