Watershield is a native perennial weed that provides habitat for fish. The leaves float on the water surface and the stems are firmly rooted. Most commonly found in water up to about 10 feet deep and is widespread in North America. Watershield secretes a number of chemicals that kill or inhibit growth of a wide range of bacteria, algae, and other plants. By this mechanism, watershield kills off competing vegetation.
Watershield (Brasenia schreberi)
Leaves: oval shaped, peltate (the leaf stem attaches to the leaf in the middle of the blade, like a mushroom stalk), with the undersides covered with thick, jelly-like slime. Leaf blades are small, ¾ to 2½ inches wide and 1 to 4½ inches long.
Stems: Purple, branched, and may reach 6 feet in length. All submerged stems are covered with a jelly-like substance.
Roots: Watershield is rooted in the soil below.
Fruit: The fruit of watershield is club-shaped, leathery, and containing 1 or 2 seeds.