From the surface, Water Shield can be identified by its small elliptical
leaves and dull red colored flowers. The leaves are a bright green on the
top, and a reddish-purple on the bottom. The stems that are attached
to the center of the leaves are also a dark reddish-purple color. The
underside of the leaves has a distinctive slime that also coats the stems.
This plant is unlike Water Lilies, which have larger leaves with a notch and are not slimy on the underside.