Submersed Plants

Plants are generally rooted at the bottom and are completely underwater.  Flowers, if present, may extend above the water surface.

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Floating leaves are oval and the base tapers to a distinct petiole.  The submersed leaves of this plant are often lance-like, and also taper to a long petiole.  This plant generally has sparse leafing that is arranged alternately.Appearing extremely leafy at the tip due to frequent branching, Claspingleaf can be easily confused with Curlyleaf Pondweed.  Claspingleaf has leaves with smooth edges and a wide base that wraps around the stem almost completely.
It commonly floats near the surface in late summer, lacking true roots.  Stiff leaves are whorled around a hollow stem in groups of five to twelve.  Leaf spacing is highly variable, but the ends are often bushy, like a raccoons tail.The leaves have been described as resembling lasagna noodles, but upon close inspection a row of "teeth" can be seen to line the margins.  Growing in dense mats near the water's surface, it out competes native plants for sun and space very early in spring.  This submersed weed with broad oval leaves appears to be similar to Hydrilla. This plant contains 3 whorls in the leaves around the stem.  Whorls are compact near the growth tip with spacing between the whorls gradually increasing as you go down the stem.
An aggressive plant, this exotic milfoil can grow nearly 10 feet in length forming dense mats at the water surface.  This plant quickly out competes native species.  Identifying features include a pattern of 4 leaves whorled around a hollow stem and feathery in appearance.Submersed leaves are oppositely arranged on the stem.  The leaves are fan-shaped and dissected into many narrow segments.  Stem large and conspicuously flattened.  Leaves ribbon-like and extended upwards from flattened surface of stem.
Naiads are annual plants, growing from seed each year, and can form dense, bushy masses by midsummer.  The edges may or may not appear spiny and the leaf tips taper to a fine point.This native species of milfoil has a hollow stem with whorled leaves at intervals along the entire length of the plant.  This entire plant is submerged with the exception of a tiny stalk of flowers that may extend above the water surface.Plants are bushy in appearance with narrow thread-like leaves alternately arranged on the stems.  Nutlets are (a small nut) are arranged like beads spaced on a string and emerge from the water.
Unlike the true pondweeds, this species has all leaves oppositely arranged on the stem.  The fragile stem rises from a horizontal root.  Leaves are long and narrow with flattish seeds attached to the stems at the base of the leaves.These underwater leaves are thin-textured and flimsy, their edges often wavy or rippling.  Submersed leaves are linear lance-shaped, tapering at both ends, and up to 8 in long; a leaf stalk may be present, to 2 in long, or absent.  Plants are found in water to 15 ft deep.Thick, large stems and broad leaves aid in identification of Largeleaf pondweed.  The submerged leaves appear wavy and taper toward the stem.  Floating leaves are egg shaped.  Rarely is this pondweed found branching.
The underwater stem forms a dense tuft at its tip and resembles a soft bottlebrush. As the stem reaches the surface it changes its growth pattern to become a stout emergent flower-spike carrying a different type of leaf .  The plant can form dense growth, rooting from stem fragments.This submersed plant can form thick beds and dominate an area.  The grass like leaves have a distinctive pattern used to identify the plant.  Flaccid when out of the water, the foliage occurs in tufts, much like turf grass.
American Pondweed
Potamogeton nodosus
Claspingleaf Pondweed
Potamogeton richardsonii

Elodea canadensis
Ceratophyllum demersum
Curlyleaf Pondweed
Potamogeton crispus
Eurasian Watermilfoil
Myriophyllum spicatum
Cabomba caroliniana
Flat-stemmed Pondweed
Potamogeton natans
Horned Pondweed
Zannichellia palustris
Illinois Pondweed
Potamogeton illinoensis

Largeleaf Pondweed
Potamogeton amplifolius
Naiad species
Najas spp

Northern watermilfoil
Myriophyllum sibiricum
Sago pondweed
Stuckenia pectinatus

Variable-leaf Watermilfoil
Myriophyllum heterophyllum

Wild Celery
Vallisneria americana
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