Brasenia schreberi
water shield

Brasenia schreberi

Brasenia schreberi
Photo courtesy Renee Brecht, top,
Wikicommons bottom
Britton & Brown
Botanical name: Brasenia schreberi J.F. Gmel.  
Common name: watershield
Synonomy: Brasenia peltata Pursh
Brasenia purpurea (Michx.)
Group: dicot
Family: Cabombaceae
Growth type: forb/herb
Duration: perennial
Origin: native
Plant height: up to or equal to 6', submerged
Foliage: leaves floating, elliptic, 1-1/2-4-1/2", reddish brown, coated with "jelly" below
Flower: solitary, reddish brown to dull purple, on stalks under 5"; flowers 1-1-1/4"; often does not bloom
Flowering time: early June to August; fruit early July to late September
Habitat: quiet waters of ponds, lakes, dammed streams
Range in New Jersey: statewide
Heritage ranking, if any: n/a
Distribution: Brasenia schreberi
Misc. Stone, in 1910, says "A very characteristic species of the old milldams in the Pine Barrens, though its smaller peltate leaves and little maroon colored flowers are not nearly so conspicuous as the showy blooms and large leaves of the true Water Lilies. The petioles and buds are encased in a thick coating of jelly-like mucilage"(443).

Brasenia, for Christoph Brasen, 1774, Moravian missionary and botanist in Greenland; schreberi, for Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber, 1739-1810.

Waterfowl eat the seeds, leaves, and underwater stems.

The young leaves are edible: in Japan, it is an ingredient of miso-shiru.

According to the Flora of North America, Brasenia is known from a European fossil record although it is not known to grow there currently.

Wind pollinated.