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Southern Naiad - Najas guadalupensis
Family: Najadaceae

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Description

Plants of N. guadalupensis are rooted, submersed, and from 0.1 to 1.0 m long. The leaves are usually opposite or subopposite, from 0.2 to 2.0 mm wide, and 0.3 to 3.3 cm long. The teeth along the leaf margin are small, 18 to 100 per side, and barely visible to the naked eye. Sheaths at the base of the leaf are rounded to slightly auriculate. The flowers are small, inconspicuous and borne in the leaf axils on the same plant. Seeds are 1.2 to 3.8 mm long, fusiform, with 4- to 6-angled areolae arranged in 20 to 60 rows.

Interesting facts

Southern naiad is found in marshes, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, rivers, streams, canals, and occasionally in slightly brackish water. It is typically a shallow water species that can form dense monospecific colonies or is often found in association with other submersed aquatics such as spinyleaf naiad, pondweeds, and muskgrass. Like spinyleaf naiad, reservoir populations of southern naiad may fluctuate dramatically over a period of a few years in response to changes in the amount of available light (Peltier and Welch 1970). Southern naiad seems to be more tolerant of turbidity, warming of water temperatures, and eutrophication than some of the other native species of Najas and has spread in some regions of the United States over the past century (Wentz and Stuckey 1971).

Najas guadalupensis can form dense colonies in shallow water and hinder swimming, fishing, boating, and other forms of water contact recreation. It is a major problem species in Florida and is reported to impede water flow in drainage and irrigation canals (Tarver et al. 1986). However, the plant is a valuable waterfowl food and can provide habitat and substrate of fish and invertebrates (Tarver et al. 1986, Brooks and Hauser 1978).

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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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