Veronique Greenwood: The Beauty and Wonder of Duckweed

New York Times:

Kay Nietfeld/DPA

Kay Nietfeld/DPA

Duckweeds are humble-looking plants whose tiny, brilliant green globules spangle ponds all over the world. Some duckweeds are the smallest flowering plants in nature.

Scientists working in Brazil have just discovered that one duckweed, Wolffia columbiana, has a surprising talent. In Biology Letters this Wednesday, the authors report that this duckweed can likely hop entirely intact from wetland to wetland by hitching a ride in the feces of birds.