USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 28 March 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
Robert H. Mohlenbrock, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. 1995. Northeast wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. Northeast National Technical Center, Chester.
Illustration: USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. Vol. 1: 82.
What is Leafy Pondweed?
- Alternate to whorled
- All submersed
- Smooth edged
- Green to bronze in color
- Up to 3.94 inches long
- Up to 0.11 inches wide
- Located at base of leaf stalk
- 0.28-0.71 inches long
- Disk shaped
- Olive to brown in color
- 0.08-0.09 inches across
- Fruits from May to October
- 4 to 6 in clusters
- Brown in color
Where Does it Grow?
Leafy pondweed can be found in brackish water but is more common in freshwater lakes, farm ponds, slow-moving streams and irrigation ditches.
Pros and Cons of Leafy Pondweed
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.). Leaves are eaten by turtles, while both leaves and seeds are eaten by waterfowl. After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates.
Leafy pondweed is a perennial but most leaves will die off in colder months, while rhizomes survive in the sediment.