American Pondweed

Photo: Christian Fischer, 2008

Order: Alismatales
Family: Hydrocharitaceae
Genus: Elodea
Species: E. canadensis

Identifying characteristics:
  • American pondweed grows underwater except for small white or purple flowers which float at the surface.
  • The leaves are bright green, oblong, and 6-17mm long and 1-4 mm wide.
  • The leaves are usually in whorls of three around the stem.
  • The length may reach up to 3m.

Special Adaptations:
  • It's rapid growth in favorable conditions allows it to choke out other plants.
  • It requires summer water temps of 10-25 degree C and moderate to bright light.
  • Roots growing along the stem may hang free in the water or anchor in the bottom, allowing stability in slow-moving water.
  • It's fruit is underwater, and the seeds ripen entirely underwater.

Elodea candensis. (2011). Wikipedia. Retrieved July 23, 2011, from