Quiet, fresh to slightly brackish tidal waters; also found in ponds and reservoirs
Found in the upper and middle Chesapeake Bay and tidal tributaries, such as creeks and rivers, throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Slender pondweed is made up of long, thin, grass-like leaves. Leaves have pointed tips and a visible midrib (primary vein in the leaf). 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 pondweed has a root-rhizome system.
Migratory waterfowl feed on slender pondreed.
Reproduction and Life Cycle
Asexual 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. Flowers are fertilized underwater and produce smooth rounded seeds.
Did You Know?
- Slender pondweed is also known as small pondweed.
- Migratory waterfowl feed on slender pondweed.
- It 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
- Underwater Grasses in Chesapeake Bay & Mid-Atlantic Coastal Waters by Maryland Sea Grant
- SAV Key: Slender Pondweed – Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- Small Pondweed - Virginia Tech
- PLANTS Database: Potamogeton pusillus – USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service