Pondweeds with Small Floating Leaves
Updated: May 13, 2020
These three species of pondweed are characterized by small ovoid floating leaves and can be distinguished from one another by the size of the floating leaves and the size and shape of the submerged leaves.
Both submersed and floating leaves are produced, though floating leaves are few or may be absent. Floating leaves are firm, green, oval-elliptic, less than 1½ inches long, up to ½ inch wide, toothless, rounded to bluntly pointed at the tip, rounded to tapering at the base, on a stalk shorter than the blade. Blades have 5 to 15 veins.
Submersed leaves are more or less spirally arranged, green to reddish, linear and ribbon-like, often arching or coiled, up to 3 inches long, .5 to 2 mm wide, bluntly to sharply pointed at the tip, stalkless, and have 1 to 3 veins. Stems are flattened and branched. Colonies are often formed from spreading rhizomes. (Source: https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/aquatic/spiral-pondweed)
Vasey's Pondweed (Potamogeton vaseyi)
Floating leaves are oval and about 1/2 inch long. Submersed leaves are thread-like, very narrow (0.2-1 mm wide), and flaccid. Similar to snail seed pondweed but floating leaves are more ovoid and less elongated.
Vasey's Pondweed collected in South Cove by Maria Gross