Alternate Title

Silica and Ash in Several Marsh Plants

Document Type



Ash and silica content and their depositional patterns in tissues of Spartina alterniflora Loisel., Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene, Scirpus validus Vahl., Zizania aquatica L., and Limonium carolinianum (Walt.) Britt. were determined. Zizania aquatica leaves had the highest silica content (6.0%) of any of the plant parts tested; silica making up over half of the ash. Silica in the plants was opaline in character. Limonium carolinianum did not accumulate silica in any great amount. However, ash content was very high in Limonium carolinianum and Scirpus validus making up over 17% of the dry weight of the leaves. X-ray diffraction showed the presence of halite (NaCl) and calcium sodium phosphate (2.4 CaO • 0.6 Na2O • P2Os) in the ash of the leaves of all the plants from Mississippi except Zizania aquatica. Mineral deposition (silica and other minerals) in Zizania aquatica occurs in rows lengthwise of the leaf, and there are bowtie- and oval-shaped phytoliths. In Distichlis spicata leaves, mineral deposits occur in rows of elongate, serrated units. Spongy mineral deposition occurs lengthwise of the leaves of Spartina alterniflora and some of these deposits, including the silica, are fibrous. In Scirpus validus heavy deposits occur lengthwise of the leaf. Silica occurs in a sheetlike pattern and in rows of oval particles.

First Page


Last Page