Lemna minor 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Alismatales Araceae

Scientific Name: Lemna minor L.
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Common Duckweed
French Petite Lentille d'Eau
Hydrophace minor (L.) Bubani
Lemna minima Thuill. ex P.Beauv.
Lemna minor ssp. minima (Thuill. ex P. Beauv.) A. Chev.
Lemna minor ssp. oxymitra Hegelm.
Lemna rwandensis De Sloover
Lenticula minor Scop.
Lenticula monorhiza Montandon
Lenticula vulgaris Lam.
Taxonomic Notes: There are no significant taxonomic issues associated with this name. However, there is a degree of confusion over separation of L. gibba from L. minor when the former is not expanded and this may obscure differences in the distribution of the two species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2016-06-21
Assessor(s): Zhuang, X.
Reviewer(s): Luke, W.R.Q.
Contributor(s): Lansdown, R.V. & Beentje, H.J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Maiz-Tome, L.

This species is assessed as Least Concern as it is widespread with stable populations and does not face any significant threats.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Lemna minor is widespread throughout Europe and exists in scattered populations in central Asia, on the west coast and in central North America, in the north, south and the eastern half of Africa, Australia (Victoria) and New Zealand. It is presumed to have been introduced to Australia and New Zealand (Landolt 1986).
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bermuda; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Brazil; Bulgaria; Cambodia; Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland I, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward I., Québec, Saskatchewan, Yukon); Chad; China; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Egypt; El Salvador; Estonia; Ethiopia; Finland; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Georgia; Germany; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Guernsey; Honduras; Hungary; Iceland; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Isle of Man; Israel; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Jersey; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lebanon; Lesotho; Libya; Lithuania; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malaysia; Malta; Mexico; Moldova; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Mozambique; Nepal; Netherlands; New Caledonia; Nicaragua; Niger; Norway; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Philippines; Poland; Portugal (Azores, Madeira, Portugal (mainland), Selvagens); Romania; Russian Federation; Rwanda; San Marino; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Africa; Spain (Baleares, Canary Is., Spain (mainland), Spanish North African Territories); Sudan; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming); Uzbekistan
Australia; New Zealand; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (Ascension, Saint Helena (main island))
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3400
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species is widespread and can form large colonies in suitable habitats throughout its known range. In parts of Europe it is heavily over-recorded for L. gibba and it would be difficult to know whether there has been a change in the population.

Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Lemna minor is particularly common in lakes, ponds, canals, rice fields and ditch systems but will occur in most still or slow-flowing water bodies under most conditions, except in very oligotrophic or acidic water.  It is even capable of growing in a trickle of water over vertical surfaces, such as canal lock gates or seepages in cliffs.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The whole plant is alterative, antipruritic, antiscorbutic, astringent, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge and soporific. It is used in the treatment of colds, measles, oedema and urinating difficulty in China. It is applied externally in the treatment of skin diseases and is used as a wash for ophthalmia in India. The plant may also be used homeopathically in India.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are no known past, ongoing, or future threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no conservation measures in place or likely to be needed.

Citation: Zhuang, X. 2017. Lemna minor. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T164057A67785148. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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