Friday, December 6, 2019

Grassleaf Arrowhead - Sagittaria graminifolia

Grassleaf arrowhead (Sagittaria graminifolia) is a rather diminutive member of the "duck potato" genus - one that includes several very robust species commonly planted in wetland mitigation sites. As you can see in these photos, this species could easily go unnoticed when not in bloom. Despite its small stature, however, it is a common occurrence in the wet edges of ponds and marsh systems throughout Florida. It also is widespread throughout much of the eastern two-thirds of North America.
Grassleaf arrowhead is evergreen and tends to keep its basal rosette of leaves through the winter in areas without hard freezes. This "fan" of slender grasslike leaves rarely stands taller than 18 inches and is often no more than 12. 
Flowering occurs most often during the summer and early fall, though it can occur earlier depending on winter temperatures. The flower stalk emerges from the center of the basal leaves and reaches a mature height of about 12 inches. The flowers are small - less than 1 inch across - but identical in color and structure to other members of the genus. They are mostly pollinated by bees.
Although a common component of moist to wet habitat types, it is almost never included in wildflower field guides. That space is given to the more robust & showier members of the genus. I also have never seen it grown commercially by any of the Florida native plant nurseries affiliated with FANN - the Florida Association of Native Nurseries.  Its small size, however, seems to make it an excellent candidate for small wetland/bog/rain gardens where there is no real room for its larger cousins. Perhaps, it will be grown someday for those specialized settings. Until then, look for it and simply admire it for its subtle elegance. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please let me know if this site and the various postings have been useful to you.