Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office
Conserving the Nature of America

Bunched Arrowhead (Sagittaria fasciculata)

Bunched Arrowhead. Credit: USFWS

Bunched Arrowhead. Credit: USFWS

Family: Water plantain (Alismataceae)

Federal Status: Endangered, July 25, 1979

Best Search Time: Mid-May through July

Description: Bunched arrowhead is a small herbaceous plant growing 15 - 16 inches (in) (38 – 41 centimeters; cm) tall in saturated soils. It’s the only Sagittaria species in the Southern Appalachians that does not have arrowhead-shaped leaves. Emergent leaves are broad and tapered at the tip and up to 12 inches (in) (30 centimeters; cm) long and 1 – 2 in (2.5 - 5.1 cm) wide. The white flowers begin blooming in mid-May and continue through July. The fruits mature a few weeks after flowering.

Habitat: Bunched arrowhead occurs in undisturbed sites that are typically located just below the origin of slow, clean, continuous seeps on gently sloping terrain in deciduous woodlands.

map of Bunched Arrowhead distribution in North Carolina

Map of Bunched Arrowhead distribution in North Carolina.

Distribution: Bunched arrowhead is known from the upstate of South Carolina and southwestern North Carolina.

Threats: The primary factor determining the rarity of Bunched arrowhead is the current rarity of its required habitat. The seepage habitat in which Bunched arrowhead occurs is extremely threatened, and remaining Bunched arrowhead populations are threatened by residential and industrial development, conversion to pasture, and invasive exotic species.

References:

Buchanan, M.F. and J.T. Finnegan. 2010. Natural Heritage Program List of the Rare Plant Species of North Carolina. N.C. Natural Heritage Program, Raleigh, NC.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1983. Bunched Arrowhead Recovery Plan. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Atlanta, GA. 37 pp.

For More Information on Bunched Arrowhead...

Species Contact:

Mara Alexander, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, 828-258-3939 ext. 238

Species profile revised on September 15, 2011.

Last Updated: November 1, 2012