USDA, NRCS. 2018. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 28 March 2018). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
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: 77.
What is Ribbonleaf Pondweed?
Other common spellings and names include: Nuttall pondweed, Nuttall’s pondweed, Ribbon-leaf pondweed, and ribbon-leaved pondweed.
- 2-10 inches long
- 0.08-0.39 inches wide
- Bright green to reddish
- Stripe down center
- No leaf stalks
- Can be absent; especially in deep water
- Leathery texture
- Oval to lance shaped
- 0.79-3.15 inches long
- 0.59-1.38 inches wide
- Long, flat leaf stalks
- One seeded
- Does not open to release seed when ripe
- 0.01-0.02 inches long
- Oval to circular in shape but flattened
- Few branches
- Somewhat flat
- Up to 6 feet long
Where Does it Grow?
Ribbonleaf pondweeds can be found in ponds, lakes and slow flowing streams in the northern United States and southern Canada. Closest proximity to Texas is Arkansas and a few easternmost parishes in Louisiana.
Pros and Cons of Ribbonleaf 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.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called “detritus”) for many aquatic invertebrates.