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Curlyleaf Pondweed - Potamogeton crispus
Family: Potamogetonaceae

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TPIUC.

Description

Curly pondweed is a perennial and has elongate, slender rhizomes that are buff or reddish. The stems of curly pondweed are flattened. Leaves are entirely submersed, sessile, oblong to broadly linear, 3 to 8 cm long and 5 to 12 mm wide. The leaf tip is usually rounded and sometimes minutely cuspidate. The leaf margins are finely toothed, undulate and crisped. Stipules are translucent and soon disintegrating. Bur-like turions that are up to about 5 cm long often form during the spring and late summer months and consist of three to seven small, thickened leaves that project from the stem at a slight upward angle. Flowers are borne on a short spike that extends above the surface of the water. The fruits are flat, 4 to 6 mm long (including the beak) and have a distinct, pointed beak that is erect or somewhat curved and about 2 to 3 mm long.

Interesting facts

Potamogeton crispus grows in lakes, reservoirs, ponds, rivers, streams, and springs. It can grow in clear to turbid and polluted waters and in alkaline or brackish waters (Stuckey 1979). Curly pondweed produces seed, but the importance of seed in the spread and maintenance of populations is unknown (Stuckey 1979) and is assumed to be less important than turions (Sastroutomo 1981). In most portions of its range, Potamogeton crispus typically reaches peak biomass in the late spring or early summer months, forms turions, then declines and "survives" the warmer months in a dormant state (i.e., as a turion) (Cypert 1967, Stuckey 1979, Sastroutomo 1981, Tobiessen and Snow 1984, Nichols and Shaw 1986). As water temperatures cool during the late summer or fall months, the turions germinate, grow through the winter months with the plants reaching peak biomass in the spring before most other submersed macrophytes begin their growth cycle. Once established, the plants regrow and form colonies from rhizomes.

Dense colonies of curly pondweed can restrict access to docks and sport fishing areas during spring and early summer months. Because populations of curly pondweed usually decline during the summer months, it does not directly compete with many of the native submersed species.


VIDEO


Links to more information

US Army Corp Noxious Plant Database


Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers

 

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