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Water Chestnut, Trapa natans

Scientific Name: Trapa natans 

Common Name(s): Water Chestnut


Research Summary
: Jack O.
What were your observations on doing your research. Was it difficult? Were there a lot of resources? What was surprising? What do you think are some of the most important things that you discovered?

Identifying Characteristics 
  • Triangular and have toothed edges like a saw.

  • Cord like and very long can grow up to 16 feet long.
  • The rosetta is 2-4 cm or .75-1.5 inches.
  • It's flower is .3 inches long.
  • The chestnut has 4 spikes on it.
  • The chestnut is 1.2 inches long.


Taxonomy of Species
   Scientific Classification
 What That Classification Means
 Kingdom  PLANTAE  Eukaryotic cells many cells don't move make own food.
 Phylum  TRACHEOPHYTA  Flowering plants.
 Class  MAGNOLIOPSIDA  Dicotyledon has two leaves or cotyledons, in the embryo of the seed.
 Order  MYRTALES  Natural order of trees and shrubs including the myrtle.
 Family  TRAPACEAE  Water chestnut family. 
 Genus  TRAPA  Small genus of Eurasian aquatic perennial herbs
 Species  NATANS  Water chestnut

Similar species include:

Location and Movement
Origin/ Native Range
 Originated in Europe, Africa, Asia, Russia, China, and Indonesia.
 How and when did this species spread to places other than its native origin?
Water Chestnut/Trapa natans escaped from the Harvard botanical gardens In 1859. The first observed case of Trapa natans was in 1884, in Sanders Lake in Schenectady. From there it was able to spread through interconnected water ways to Massachusetts and vermont. It was first reported in a southern part of vermonts lake 
Where is it now invasive? Is invasive in Massachusetts, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina and Vermont, New York, New
Hampshire, Washington D.C, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia 
Is this species in Maine?
No.  It has not been found in Maine.
Where has it been identified?
 The closest it has been found in Maine is New Hampshire. 
How was this species introduced?


Natural Environment
  • Prefers lakes, slow moving streams and ponds. There are others. Where does it root itself?
Climate and Temperature Range
What are the specific temperatures it likes? How can it grow in Massachusetts if it likes sub tropical areas?

Ecological Interactions  It is a producer.
 Water Chestnut gets it's energy from the sun and photosynthesis.
Consumed By
 Galerucella nymphaeae What is this? There are a lot more natural enemies.

 Ecological  Prevents light from getting to anything under it. What else?
 Human  Can stop fishing, boating, swimming and other aquatic sports. How? Why?
 Economic  States pay millions to get it removed. Other?


Interesting Facts
  • Slows the function of cancer on preexisting blood vessels.