Water Weed ID: Submerged Plants, Part 2
Ready to continue identifying submerged plants in part two of our “Water Weed ID” blog series? Let’s jump in:
Coontail (Ceratophyllum Demersum)
Coontail leaves are whorled around the stem and have a serrated appearance, and spacing between leaf whorls varies. Consequently, weeds may be long and sparse or bushy. Near the end of the stem, leaves and whorls are crowded. Coontail is often confused with bushy pondweed or chara. One distinct difference between chara and coontail is the odor—or lack thereof. Chara emits a very strong odor when crushed, but coontail does not.
Bushy Pondweed (Najas Gracillima)
Bushy pondweed leaves are narrow with tiny spines along the edges and slightly enlarged at the base. Leaves are oppositely attached, or they’re in groups of two or more at a node. Its stems are slender with frequent branching, and leaves are densely concentrated at the tips. Bushy pondweed may be confused with chara or coontail. Chara has a strong odor when crushed, bushy pondweed and coontail do not.
Horned Pondweed (Zannichellia Palustris)
With long, threadlike leaves, horned pondweed can be identified by leaves that are oppositely arranged on the stem—unlike other pondweeds. Flat seeds are found at the leaf base and are serrated on one side.
Leafy Pondweed (Potamogeton Foliosus)
Leafy pondweed has short grass-like leaves which measure one to three inches long and branch freely on a slender stem. Leaves are alternately arranged on the stem, and clumps of four to eight fruiting bodies attach to a center stem by a short reed stalk that rises above the water surface when mature.