Duckweed Edible For Humans: Are All Duckweed Edible?

Duckweed is small-leaved aquatic vegetation that is commonly seen as a green patchwork over open water in daily situations. Having a significant amount of protein makes it suitable for human consumption. 

It is essential to consume enough protein to maintain excellent health. Plants can have approximately 40% nutritional value of proteins when cultivated under ideal circumstances.

These proteins are quickly digested by the human body.

Duckweed cultivation is also ecologically beneficial because it develops quickly and does not necessitate extensive agricultural or animal rearing.

We will explore the data about edible duckweed in this article so keep reading it for the information about duckweeds you are looking for.

Can Humans Eat Duckweed? Are All Duckweed Edible?

Can Humans Eat Duckweed? Are All Duckweed Edible?

The term “duckweed” refers to a group of floating, blooming plants of the Lemnaceae family. 

According to some accounts, duckweed plants are resistant to environmental toxins.

Some forms of duckweed are edible, however, some are not. Some research, on the other hand, suggests that duckweed plants are just as hazardous as other aquatic species.

Secondly, what is the flavor of duckweed? It has a nice cabbage taste to it. 

The tiniest flower in the globe, Wolffia, replicates fast, making it a viable crop if the water is clean, which is a major issue. Duckweeds thrive in poor water conditions in nature.

Who consumes duckweed, for example?

Duckweed-Eating Animals:  Duckweed is a key element of the food of a variety of animals all around the world. 

Duckweed as well as other water plants are eaten by a variety of species, including fish, ducks, geese, small mammals, and even reptiles. Duckweed is consumed by people in certain locations.

Reasons Why Humans Can Eat Or Can’t Eat

Duckweed has a flavor similar to spinach or watercress. 

A wolffia species has long been a staple of Asian cuisine.

The Thai, Burmese, and Laotians use it as a healthy veggie. 

Duckweed is a plant that may be spotted all over the globe. Duckweed has a high amount of protein, making it suitable for human consumption. 

It is essential to consume enough protein to maintain excellent health. Duckweed can have up to 40 percent of protein content when cultivated under ideal circumstances.

What Kind Of Duckweed Can Humans Eat?

After assuring its protection by producing in hygienic growing places or correctly cooking to remove hazardous germs.

Eat duckweed produced in clean settings, such as in a kept pool of water.

After assuring its safety by growing it in clean environments or properly boiling it to destroy dangerous microorganisms.

Knowledge About Duckweed

Knowledge About Duckweed

Due to its high protein content and ecologically favorable manufacturing features, duckweed is considered a viable source of protein for human food items. 

Duckweed must be supplied to people in an acceptable manner in order to ensure effective inclusion in the diet.

General Information

  • It’s rather tiny. Plant species might be as little as the eye of the needle at times.
  • There are no stalks or leaves on it.
  • It is buoyant.
  • It multiplies at a breakneck speed, tripling its number in less than 48 hours.

Duckweed can help to purify waters and can be cultivated in water basins without the need for extra fertilizers. 

Duckweed has a little ecological footprint; each kilogram of duckweed produces around 0.4 kg of CO2 equivalent. 

In comparison, for each kilogram of beef, 27 kg of CO2 equivalent is generated.

Nutritional Value And Taste

Several kinds of duckweed seem to be edible, and, according to new research by German and Indian experts, are so high in nutrients that the term “superfood” may soon be linked with the species. 

This research looked at one type of duckweed, the Wolffia globosa, and discovered that it had a protein content equivalent to peanuts and soybeans, as well as high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids.

Types Of Duckweed

Types Of Duckweed

1) Wolffia, Watermeal

Let’s begin with Wolffia globosa, a plant grown in Burmese, Thailand, & Laos. It has a pleasant cabbage taste to it. 

The tiniest flower in the world, Wolffia, recreates fast, making it a viable production if the groundwater is clean, which is a major issue. 

Duckweeds thrive in poor water conditions in nature. Wolffia has 20% protein (greater than soybeans), 44% carbs, 5% fat, and vitamins C, A, B6, and Niacin.

Wolffia, also known as Khai-Nam (Water Eggs) and Mijinko-uji-kusa, is native to Californian, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois, & Florida. 

Sadly, it’s small, measuring approximately 1/32 of an inch or the size of a needle’s eye. It’s a little floating disc with no root, however, it may contain small hairs on the edges. 

It is so tiny that it resembles a floating meal, thus the name watermeal. The smallest and most delicious. 

It’s best to grow your own in clean drinking water while excluding the less desirable varieties.

2) Lemna Minor

Lemna, commonly known as water lentils, is usually just under a quarter-inch broad, however, some species can be as wide as eight inches. 

Wolffia is significantly smaller than Lemna. Each frond includes at least one vertical root and three connected floating leaves (called fronds). 

Cattle feed made from dried Lemna has up to 45% protein and 4% fat. 

Regrettably, it is also rich in calcium oxalate, which is harmful to humans. Missouri Botanical Garden, to paraphrase.

Duckweed would have to be grown under sanitary circumstances for people to eat it. It may also be beneficial to pay close focus to the calcium level. 

Evidence is accumulating that dietary oxalate absorption contributes significantly to urinary oxalate excretion, particularly in stone forms. 

A technique for selecting duckweeds for human utilization has been patented.

3) Spirodela, Giant Duckweed, Is Not Edible

Spirodela polyrhiza, often known as Giant Duckweed, was once known as Lemna polyrhiza. According to one source, it has been consumed as foodstuff. 

There are no specifics. It’s something I haven’t tried yet. Giant Duckweed may be widely cultivated in streams, rivers, ponds, & sloughs across the area. 

From the coastline to the inland panhandle of Florida. It has two to three circular leaves that are generally linked, and each leaf has numerous roots (up to nine) dangling beneath it. 

Giant Duckweed has a dark crimson underside to its leaves. It’s easy to mix it up with the exotic Landoltia punctata.

Health Benefits Of Duckweed

Health Benefits Of Duckweed

Duckweed’s health benefits are explained as follows.

As Livestock Feed

Duckweed may deliver all of the protein requirements of tilapia and carp, making it perfect for aquaponic systems. 

It may be offered fresh as a solo meal, but a 50/50 mix of dehydrated duckweed with commercialized pellet or other feed ingredients yields far superior results. 

Duckweed could be planted in a different pond or container and then fed to the fish, or it can be grown in the same pond or box as the fish. 

Steelhead, hogfish, silvery barb, sea bass, jade perch, and crayfish are among the aquatic species that benefit from fresh duckweed.

Duckweed is best fed dry to cattle. It is highly suggested for fishes, pork, chicken, quails, rabbits, and birds in small-scale integrated farming operations.

For laying hens and older broilers, dehydrated duckweed can replace up to 40% of their traditional diet. 

Duckweed has been shown to be a viable soybean meal replacement in Peruvian feeding studies for layers and broilers. 

Duckweed-fed layers laid greater eggs with the same or greater quality than formulated-diet-fed layers.

Duckweed is known for its high amounts of K and P pigments, notably carotene and xanthophylls, which are important in poultry operations because they give chicken skin and egg yolks color.

Pigs have had little study done on them, however, hogs in Vietnam were fed a 30% dried duckweed diet that resulted in good nutritional digestibility.

Farmers, small and large, are always looking for methods to save money on livestock feed without compromising nutrition. 

Duckweed has risen in favor of the farming community due to its simple production methods and highly nutritious value.

  • Duckweed has a crude protein content of 35 to 43 percent, which is similar to that of dry soybean meal.
  • Polyunsaturated fats account about 5% of total calories.
  • Fiber content ranges from 5% to 15%.
  • Carotene, xanthophyll, vitamin A, and a slew of additional components are abundant in the intestine.

While the high nutritional content of duckweed attracts some farmers, the simplicity with which it may be grown and harvested is its main lure. 

This vegetation might double its dimensions in 16 hours to two days under optimum growth conditions, such as a replicated and sheltered lagoon habitat. 

Farmers can produce anything from 2 to 23 tons of dry vegetable matter every harvest year on average. 

Duckweed is a feasible alternative for most farmers due to its fast growth rate and large harvest yields.

As Human Food

The greatest feature regarding duckweed is that it can be eaten by human beings. Duckweed has a flavor similar to spinach or watercress. 

The Wolffia species has long been a staple of Asian cuisine, with Thai, Burmese, and Laotians using it as a healthy veggie. 

Duckweed can be used in soups and salads or substituted for watercress, lettuce, sandwiches, or spinach.

Duckweed is a plant that may be located all over the globe. With the exception of desert and perpetually freezing places. It can’t withstand severe temperatures. 

It grows well in tropical and subtropical regions, although it can flourish everywhere with temps of 63°F to 86°F (or water temperatures of 42°F to 91°F).

Several species survive the winter by sinking to the bottom of the sea and going dormant, only to emerge when the weather warms up and regular development can resume. 

Duckweed grows in a range of ph values from 5 to 9 but prefers the 6.5 to 7.5 range.

Ecological Importance

Because duckweed is renowned for being invading, it must be properly handled. If left uncontrolled, it may take over a small pond in a matter of weeks. 

When a colony becomes large enough to cover the whole surface of a pond, it may block sunlight and deplete oxygen beneath the level, killing fish as well as other hidden vegetation. 

Duckweed should be gathered on a regular basis, ideally every day. You can use the following organic, non-chemical methods to avoid duckweed overproduction:

Racking up and netting it on a regular basis. Aeration or the installation of a water fountain to produce movement in the surface of the water.

Shading can be accomplished by plantings on the pond’s southern part.

Adding weed-eating waterfowl like ducks, coots, and moorhens to the pond, as well as herbivorous and omnivorous fish like tilapia, carp, and silver barbs.

Planting lotus, water lilies, as well as other floating-leaved vegetations.

Duckweed is heavy and very perishable when collected since it contains up to 90% water. 

On a big level, gathering and dehydrating it may be inconvenient, time-consuming, and costly. 

We can’t anticipate duckweed to be available commercially in powder or pellet form very soon since the technique for desiccating it on a large scale hasn’t been developed yet. 

Natural techniques such as sun-drying or drying in the shadow using fans are more practical for landowners and local producers such as you and me right now.

Possible Applications Of Duckweed In Meals

Several sustainable development experts have identified this species as a possible life-saving food source if the contemporary food system collapses due to its high protein content. 

While this plant is edible for humans, there are a few things to consider before giving it to your family:

Duckweed Harvesting Conditions — Duckweed flourishes in less-than-sanitary environments, such as ponds brimming with germs and animal faces. 

As a result, only eat duckweed that has been grown in sanitary settings, such as in a well-kept pool of water.

Calcium Oxalate Concentration – Calcium oxalate concentrations in duckweed may range from 2 to 4%, which is hazardous to humans. 

While the amount of oxalate in duckweed grown in the wild can be influenced by the environment. Duckweed taken in the wild must be treated to minimize the amount of oxalate in order to be safe to consume. 

Cook the duckweed before eating it by boiling, roasting, or sautéing it.

Duckweed’s acidic flavor, which is comparable to watercress or spinach, may be utilized in salads, sandwiches, soups, and any other meal where a green vegetable would normally be found.

Duckweed has been utilized as a food source in Asian cuisine for millennia. 

Enjoy the nutritious benefits and tasty flavor after guaranteeing its safety by growing in hygienic growth places or carefully boiling to remove dangerous germs.

You Might Love To Know About Duckweed

You Might Love To Know About Duckweed

Is Duckweed A Source Of Vitamin B12?

The freshwater lentil, often known as duckweed, was displayed to have nearly 750 percent of the required daily intake of bioactive forms of Vitamin B12 in the United States (per 100 grams of dry plant). 

Synthetic Vitamin B12 is the most popular supplementary type, which has some customers concerned.

Is Duckweed Eaten By Fish?

Grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon Idella) and koi (Cyprinus carpio domesticus) are two of the best fish that eat duckweed. 

While grass carp consume the plants as they develop, as per Ohio State University. 

Duckweed (Lemna Minor) – 100/200/500 Live Plants

Duckweed (Lemna Minor) - 100/200/500 Live Plants (500) by Aqua Habit
  • Live Duckweed (Lemna Minor) Plants
  • Great Source of Protein (Up to 40% protein content)
  • Great Organic food for Koi, Tilapia, Goldfish, Livestock such as chickens and ducks

Is Duckweed Dormant In The Winter?

Duckweed thrives in nutrient-rich waterways and may be found in tiny garden ponds as well as huge bodies of water. 

Although duckweed dies off in the winter, many species release spores in the autumn that overwinter on the pond’s bottom and sprout new shoots the following summer.

What Causes Duckweed To Die In A Pond?

Use a season-long herbicide like Airmax® WipeOutTM or SonarTM A.S. to treat the whole stretch of water for duckweed as well as other pondweeds for the full season.

Duckweed may be killed fast with a broad spectrum contact herbicide like Ultra PondWeed Defense.

Duckweed & Its Problem

Duckweed, on the other hand, may be a major issue in a pond. 

This will promote the growth of anaerobic bacteria, which will result in toxic water conditions that will kill fish, turtles, and other vegetation, as well as increase the spread of duckweed. 

It’s all a disaster. Duckweed is typically not a problem in smaller home ponds.


Duckweed contains 35 to 43 percent crude protein, 5 to 15% fiber, 5% saturated fats, and a variety of essential nutrients, calcium, and vitamins A and B. 

It is believed to have the same amount of protein as a dry soybean meal. 

Duckweed is fed to pigs, poultry, cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits, and farmed fish in many developing nations and the results are quite favorable.

Duckweed is the tiniest yet fastest-growing plant on the planet. It may quadruple its weight in 16-48 hours if grown under optimum conditions. 

In terms of protein per surface area, farmers that cultivate feed crops have discovered that duckweed is far more productive than soybean.

It can yield five to eight tons of dry matter per acre per year, whereas soybeans produce less than a ton per acre per year, based on species, water nutrient availability, climate, and environmental factors.

In Holland, giving information on the nutritional and environmental advantages of duckweed has a favorable impact on duckweed acceptance as human food, provided that duckweed is utilized in a suitable meal (vs. a non-fitting meal). 

As a result, we highlight the necessity of introducing duckweed in appropriate circumstances to enhance its chances of acceptance in a marketing-driven, information-hungry Western culture.