[The Water Plantain Family in the Columbia River Gorge]

California DamsoniumFringed Waterplantain, Fringed Water-plantain, Star Water-plantain

Damasonium californicum

Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus

Flowers of Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californcum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus)

A pair of flowers of fringed waterplantain as seen in the Columbia River Gorge near Horsethief Butte..................early June, 2009.

Flower of Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californcum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus)The photo at right shows an additional close-up view of the flower of fringed waterplantain as seen in the Columbia River Gorge near Horsethief Butte..............early June, 2009. Click photo to see an enlarged view (2x).

Characteristics:

Fringed waterplantain is also known as star waterplantain. It is an aquatic plant with one to several flower stems and numerous basal leaves arising from a short rhizome from 20-40 cm high. The leaves have long petioles, the blades are linear to oblong-lanceolate with rounded or abruptly narrowed bases. The blades range from 3-6 cm long. The blades are 3-nerved.

The flower scapes equal or surpass the leaves. The inflorescence consists of an umbel or panicle of 2-4 whorls. The 3 petals are white, 8-10 mm long, and broadly obovate with fringed petals (See photo above.) The 3 sepals are 4-5 mm long and broadly ovate or oblong.


Habitat:

Fringed waterplantain is found in shallow water in ponds, lakes, ditches and wet fields.


Range:

Fringed waterplantain may be found from Wheeler County, Oregon south to central California and east to southwestern Idaho and western Idaho.

In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found between the elevations of 200'-600' in vernal ponds in the vicinity of Horsethief Lake State Park (now the Columbia Hills State Park).


Fringed Waterplantain: Damisonium californicum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus ----- Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californcum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus) ----- Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californcum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus)

Three views of fringed waterplantain as seen in the shallow water of ponds near Horsethief Butte in the Columbia River Gorge...................early June 2009. Click each photo to see an enlarged view (3x)..

Leaf of Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californicum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus) ----- Back of petals and sepals of  Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californicum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus) ------ Flower of Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californicum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus)

Flower of Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californicum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus) ----- Flower size of Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californicum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus) ----- Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californicum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus) -----

Six additional close-up views of fringed waterplantain as seen in vernal ponds near Horsethief Butte in the Columbia River Gorge...................June 26, 2009. Click each photo to see an enlarged view (3X).

Vernal pool containing Fringed Waterplantain: Damasonium californicum (Synonym: Machaerocarpus californicus)

A view of typical fringed waterplantain habitat in the Columbia River Gorge................July 10, 2009. Click photo to see an enlarged view (2X).

Paul Slichter