Sparganium americanum, Lesser bur-reed, is one of several native species of this distinctive native plant. Though looking like grasses or sedges, they are neither, being in their own family (Sparganiaceae). Sparganium americanum is smaller, reaching about 2'. The "burs" are soft-prickly and are not dangerous. Lesser bur-reed grows in shallow water or flooded soils. Several animals feed on both their seeds and leaves. In addition to providing food and habitat, these plants are one of many species useful for improving or maintaining water quality by absorbing nutrients and stabilizing muddy areas.