Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Callitriche palustris
spring water-starwort, vernal water-starwort

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across most of North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Sloughs and slow-moving fresh water.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind


Small aquatic herbs, the stems 5-20 cm. long, submerged or partially floating; leaf bases joined by small, winged ridges.


Submerged leaves linear, 5-20 mm. long, thin, 1-nerved, with a slight notch at the tip; floating and emergent leaves broadly spatulate, up to 4 mm. broad, 3-nerved.


Flowers imperfect, sessile in the leaf axils, each consisting of a single pistil or 1 stamen or both; styles 2, distinct, 1-2.5 mm. long, deciduous; floral bracts present.


Carpels 2, oblong-obovate, about 1 mm. long and 0.7 mm. broad, with pit-like markings in vertical lines.

Accepted Name:
Callitriche palustris L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. [Linnaeus] 2: 969. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Callitriche verna L. [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Callitriche palustris in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Callitriche palustris checklist entry

OregonFlora: Callitriche palustris information

E-Flora BC: Callitriche palustris atlas page

CalPhotos: Callitriche palustris photos

25 photographs:
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