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Slender Pondweed

Potamogeton pusillus

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

  • 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 3-5 flowers bloom at the end of spikes that grow in the leaf axil
  • Has a root-rhizome system

Habitat:

  • Grows in quiet, fresh to slightly brackish tidal waters
  • Also found in ponds and reservoirs
  • 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

Reproduction and Life Cycle:

  • Reproduces asexually 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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