Water stargrass is a bay grass with long, grass-like leaves and distinctive yellow, star-like flowers along freely branching stems. It grows in the fresh waters of the upper Chesapeake Bay and tributaries throughout the Bay watershed.
Water stargrass is made up of long, grass-like leaves that grow alternately along freely branching stems. The base of each leaf wraps around the stem. In summer, small, yellow, six-petaled flowers project above the water’s surface.
This grass is found in shallow tidal and non-tidal fresh waters. It usually grows in clay or chalky sediment but is sometimes found in streams with a gravel bottom.
Ranges from the upper Chesapeake Bay to freshwater rivers, streams, lakes and ponds throughout the Bay watershed. Water stargrass has been recorded in rivers such as the upper tidal Potomac River and the Bush, Elk, Magothy, Middle and Sassafras rivers in Maryland.
Asexual reproduction occurs when stem fragments break off and overwinter at the bottom before growing into a new plant in spring. Sexual reproduction takes place in summer when the plant flowers. Seeds form in late summer and autumn, then grow into new plants in the spring.