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(Duckweed family)


• Medicinal / Folk-medicinal aspects: Duckweeds are used in traditional Chinese medicine for the treatment of minor skin affections. •
• Adverse effects: •
• Veterinary aspects: •

This family of small to minute free-floating water plants comprises about 25 species in 4 genera. They are of cosmopolitan distribution. The principal genera are Lemna L., Wolffia Horkel ex Schleiden, and Wolffiella Hegelm., each accounting for about 7 species. The family is related to the Araceae (Mabberley 1997).

Lemna minor L.
Duckweed, Duckmeat

In traditional Chinese medicine, this plant is known as shui ping. It is added to the bath for the treatment of prickly heat, and the expressed juice is thought to promote growth of hair (Stuart 1911).

[Further information available but not yet included in database]

Spirodela polyrhiza Schleiden
[syn. Lemna polyrhiza L.]

[Information available but not yet included in database]

Spirodela punctata C.H.Thomps.
[syns Lemna punctata G.Mey., Spirodela oligorrhiza Hegelm., Lemna oligorrhiza Kurz]
Giant Duckweed, Dotted Duckmeat

[Information available but not yet included in database]


  • Mabberley DJ (1997) The Plant-Book. A portable dictionary of the vascular plants. 2nd edn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Stuart GA (1911) Chinese Materia Medica. Vegetable Kingdom. Extensively revised from Dr. F. Porter Smith's work. Shanghai: American Presbyterian Mission Press [doi] [WorldCat] [url] [url-2]
  • [ + 6 further references not yet included in database]

Richard J. Schmidt

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