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  • Writer's picturemariagross

Curly-Leaf Pondweed and A native look-alike

On July 18th My family found this plant specimen floating near our dock (Zone 7, grid 1833) and it made me pause. Thank goodness (!) for Cliff’s help at the BBQ where we got to view the 3 plants that he is currently harvesting: Curly-Leaf Pondweed (CLP), Spiny Naiad, Variable Milfoil.

Below on the far Lt, I have attached a photo of Cliff’s CLP. Next is the pondweed look-alike that we found yesterday. On the far Rt is just the leaf of the same pondweed.

Remembering that CPD leaves resembles small cooked lasagna noodles the slight curliness of this pondweed’s leaves is what gave me pause. Amy’s NH Aquatic Plant book suggests that this plant might easily be Potamogeton perfoliatus which has the curly leaves but the important difference is the lack of teeth on the margins. You will only see those on the CPD.

BTW: The Maine Field Guide describes the preferred habitat of CLP as soft sediments, waters that are shallow, deep, still or flowing. And CPD thrives where many other aquatic plants do not, such as waters that are shaded, disturbed, polluted or turbid.


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