Water shield

Floating Leaf Plants

Brasenia schreberi:

Water shield

Brasenia schreberi Gmel.: Water shield, dollar bonnet. Cabombaceae (water-shield family). 

Native perennial. This plant can grow in water up to 6 ft (1.8 m) deep; it produces floating leaves that can overlap and may completely cover surface areas. Long leaf stalks emerge alternately from a short underwater stem or creeping rhizome rooted in the substrate. Leaf blades are smooth, very broadly oval, up to 4.75 in (12 cm) long; they do not have any notch or indentation. The leaf stalk attaches to the center of underside of the blade. The underwater parts of the plant, including the underside of the leaf and the leaf stalk, are reddish-purple and slimy, covered with a thick mucilaginous coating. Conspicuous flowers, each a cluster of reddish-purple flower parts 0.75 in (2 cm) long, are held singly above the water on stout stalks.