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RE: Wolffia

Sephen Boulet asked about Wolffia (not Wolfia).

From Envyclopedia Britannica:

"The third family of the Arales, Lemnaceae, has six genera, which are
cosmopolitan, occurring in fresh water throughout the world. The floating or
submerged plants have little economic importance but serve to some extent as
food for waterfowl and fish. Some (especially duckweed; Lemna minor) are
used extensively in physiological and genetic research, where the small size
is a great advantage."

"The Lemnaceae, with 6 genera and 30 species of minute floating aquatic
forms, is widespread in the temperate and tropic zones. The family is
remarkable for the smallest known flowering plants, the duckweeds (Lemna
species) and watermeals (Wolffia species). Certain of these green, leaflike,
flattened species, with or without rootlets and only a few millimetres
across, are used in aquariums and pools as ornamentals or as food for
waterfowl and fish."

"Flowers, rarely produced, bear only the essential organs, no sepals or
petals: the male flower has one or two stamens and the female a single
pistil. The plants reproduce primarily by basal division."

For a key to the Genus Wolffia, go to

also look at (http://www.ntrnet.net/~skilli/threedwds.htm), especially for

While I guess that you might find someone who sells it, I'd suggest that you
might go look for some where you live..... here in Toronto, I have found
Wolffia in several bodies of water in the middle of the city, so its far
from rare.

I don't think I'd recommend letting it anywhere near a display tank - it
grows and multiplies every bit as fast as the regular Duckweeds and can
become a right royal pain in the butt to get rid of, but it might be fine as
a fish food, as it really IS much smaller than Duckweed (which is already
pretty tiny).

James Purchase

P.S. - if you can't find it locally, let me know, and I'll mail you a
container of it.