From duck + weed. Supposedly so-named for often being consumed by ducks and other waterfowl. Compare Middle English dokemete (“duckweed”, literally “duck-food”).
duckweed (countable and uncountable, plural duckweeds or duckweed)
- Any of several reduced floating aquatic plants in the subfamily Lemnoideae of the family Araceae.
- 1909, H. G. Wells, The Beautiful Suit:
- But his face was a face of such happiness that, had you seen it, you would have understood indeed how that he had died happy, never knowing that cool and streaming silver for the duckweed in the pond.
- common duckweed (Lemna minor, Spirodela polyrhiza)
- gibbous duckweed (Lemna gibba)
- great duckweed, greater duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza)
- ivy duckweed (Lemna trisulca)
- larger duckweed (Spirodela polyrhiza)
- least duckweed (Lemna minuta, Lemna aequinoctialis)
- lesser duckweed (Lemna minor)
- minute duckweed (Lemna perpusilla)
- star duckweed (Lemna trisulca)
- tropical duckweed (Pistia stratiotes)
- Valdivia duckweed (Lemna valdiviana)