General Species Description
- Curly Leaf Pondweed is a robust aquatic, perennial herb that
emerges from rhizomes and roots at the lower nodes. The leaves are
3 mm thick and 3-10 cm long, with curly margins and a mucus-like coating.
The plants have submerged and partially floating leaves. The flowers
have four petals and exist in spikes that attach to the stems and extend
erect from the water.
- The leaves are 3-10 cm long, 1-2 cm wide. They have curly, somewhat
parallel margins. Leaves thickness is 3 mm and a mucus like coating covers
the leaves. Alternate leaf arrangement on a many branched stem. Leaves have
- Occur on peduncles that arise from the area between the leaf bases and
stems (axillary). Inconspicuous four petaled white/green flowers.
- Inconspicuous, tiny brown seeds. Rarely observed due to aquatic nature.
- Curly leaf pond weeds grow in fresh water up to 2 meters deep. The
growth can be limited by turbid or polluted water sources. This plant
grows in dense mats that can become so heavy they have been known to
break off into raft-like structures. These masses of vegetation are
rich in phosphates and they are associated with resultant algal blooms.
- Southern Canada, United States, Mexico to South America.
- Rarely confused due to the curly leaf margin.
- All Potamogetan sp. are responsible for a high metabolic production
of aquatic oxygen.
- Potamogetan crispus is a native of Eurasia. Curly Leaf Pondweed has
the highest metabolic activity of any aquatic plant species. This can be
a beneficial contribution of oxygen to poor water sources. However, the
late season growth of rhizomes and turions aid the plant in its early growth
to the surface of the water. This quick growth crowds other competitors and
as a result P. crispus often forms dense mats.
- Cooke, S.S., ed.1997. A Field Guide To The Common Wetland Plants Of
Western Washington and Northwest Oregon. Seattle Audubon Society and
Washington Native Plant Society. Seattle Audubon Society, Seattle, WA, 417 pp.
- Virginia Tech Online Weed Identification Guide
- USDA National Plants Database
This page was created by: Andrew R. Collins, August 2002
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Oregon Wetland Plants Project