Native to South America, but a variety has become naturalized in the United States, and is now found from the Mississippi River and its surrounding states to the west coast.
An aquatic annual plant found commonly in wet locations, such as roadside drainage ditches, irrigation ditches and streams, as well as swampy marshes and ponds. Reproduction is from seeds.
Mature plants may be as tall as 2 feet or more in shaded locations, usually with the roots in water or very wet soils. Long, fleshy stalks arise from the base to develop the large, arrowhead shaped leaves, and the leaves are up to 12 inches long and very broad.
The leaf stalks are usually longer than the flower stalks, which also arise from the base but are without leaves. Several whorls of flowers occur along these stalks, each flower composed of 3 large white petals above 3 large green bracts. The flower stalks begin to curve downward as the fruit matures, and the fruit or seed pods are very large, green, smooth balls.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
Annuals reproducing only from seeds. Physical removal of small numbers of plants is possible due to the shallow root system.