European Frog-Bit

European frog-bit, common frog-bit, water-frogbit or hydrocharide grenuillette is a member of the Hydrocharitaceae (frog-bit) family. It is a free-floating aquatic plant with leathery heart-shaped leaves that float on the water’s surface due to their spongy underside. Native to Eurasia, it was intentionally brought over from Switzerland for possible ornamental use at the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa in 1932. By 1939, it had escaped to nearby sections of the Rideau Canal and, from there, gradually spread through the Ottawa River to Montreal, as well as the St. Lawrence River, and is now found in scattered locations throughout southern Ontario and in several American states.

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