Coontail

Ceratophyllum demersum

Description


Coontail, or sometimes called hornwort, is a dark olive-green, rootless submerged perennial plant that often forms dense colonies. Leaves are relatively stiff, whorled with many forks and small teeth along one edge. The tips of branches are crowded with leaves giving it a “coontail” resemblance. Coontail reproduces by seeds and fragmentation.

Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates. The fruits of coontail are consumed by ducks and it is considered a good wildlife food.