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Slender Pondweed

Potamogeton pusillus

Slender pondweed has thin, grass-like leaves along slender, branching stems. (Maryland Department of Natural Resources)
Slender pondweed has thin, grass-like leaves along slender, branching stems. (Maryland Department of Natural Resources)

Slender pondweed is a bay grass with long, thin, grass-like leaves along slender, branching stems. It grows in quiet, fresh to slightly brackish creeks, rivers and other tidal tributaries throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Appearance:

Slender pondreed is made up of long, thin, grass-like leaves with pointed tips and a visible midrib. Some leaves have a purplish tint. Leaves are arranged alternately along slender, branching stems. In late summer, whorls of 3 to 5 flowers bloom at the end of spikes that grow in the leaf axil. Slender pondreed has a root-rhizome system.

Habitat:

This grass grows in quiet, fresh to slightly brackish tidal waters, and is also found in ponds and reservoirs. It often grows in soft, fertile mud.

Range:

Found in the upper and middle Chesapeake Bay and tidal tributaries, such as creeks and rivers, throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Predators:

Migratory waterfowl feed on slender pondreed.

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

Asexually reproduction occurs when buds made of dense clumps of leaves fall off, overwinter, and form new plants in spring. Sexual reproduction takes place in late summer, when flowers are fertilized underwater and produce smooth rounded seeds.

Other Facts:

  • Also known as small pondweed
  • Can be confused with sago pondweed, horned pondweed and widgeon grass. Slender pondweed can be distinguished by the slight purplish tint on some leaves.

Sources and Additional Information:

Places:




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