Curly pondweed is a bay grass with broad, curly leaves along flat, branched stems. It grows in fresh non-tidal to slightly brackish tidal waters throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Curly pondweed is made up of broad leaves with curly, finely toothed edges. These leaves grow to 1 to 4 inches long and grow alternately or slightly opposite on flat, branched stems. In winter, leaves are blue-green and more flattened; in spring and summer, leaves are reddish-brown and become wider and curlier. Curly pondweed has a shallow root and rhizome system.
This grass grows in fresh non-tidal to slightly brackish tidal waters.
Native to Europe, curly pondweed is found in the upper Chesapeake Bay and in tributaries such as streams, rivers, lakes and reservoirs throughout the Bay watershed.
Curly pondweed has a three-stage life cycle. During spring and summer, flowers bloom and float at the water’s surface. It begins to die in mid-summer after producing buds, which lie dormant until autumn. In winter, the spring/summer cycle repeats itself when buds sprout into new flowers. It can also reproduce asexually when rhizomes or burr-like structures near the tips of the stems develop into new plants.