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.
Grows in fresh non-tidal to slightly brackish tidal waters.
Native to Europe; 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.