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Potamogeton crispus L.

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Comprehensive Description

    Potamogeton crispus
    provided by wikipedia

    Potamogeton crispus, the curled pondweed or curly-leaf pondweed, is a species of aquatic plant native to Eurasia but an introduced species and often a noxious weed in North America.

    Potamogeton crispus.jpeg


    Curly-leaf pondweed is a rhizomatous perennial herb producing a flattened, branching stem up to a meter long. The leaves are linear or oblong in shape. Only submerged leaves are produced, which are sessile, linear or oblong in shape, 25–95 mm long and 5–12 mm wide.[1] The leaves may be bright green, olive green or (especially later in the season) brownish and have noticeably serrated margins, a feature that distinguishes them from other pondweeds. The leaves usually have wavy edges but this is not always apparent, especially on new growth.[1] Turions occur in leaf axils and at stem tips.

    The inflorescence is a short spike of flowers emerging above the water surface. It flowers from May until October.[2]

    Potamogeton crispus turion.JPG

    The turions of the plant develop along with the fruits and germinate, leaving the newly sprouted plants to overwinter.[3]

    Although quite variable, P. crispus is usually a straightforward plant to identify. Hybrids with various other pondweeds are recorded, but these do not usually closely resemble P. crispus.

    There are described hybrids with Potamogeton trichoides (P. × bennettii Fryer), P.perfoliatus (P. × cooperi (Fryer) Fryer), P. alpinus (P. × olivaceus Baagøe ex G.Fisch.), P.lucens (P. × cadburyae Dandy & G.Taylor), P. praelongus (P. × undulatus Wolgf.), P. ochreatus (P. × jacobsii Z.Kaplan, Fehrer & Hellq.) and P. friesii (P. × lintonii Fryer).[4]


    Potamogeton crispus is native to a wide range of countries in Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia (Sumatra), Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam); Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and Europe.[5] It has been introduced to the Americas and New Zealand.


    Curly pondweed is widespread and common across most of its native range, growing in standing and slow-flowing water including small ponds and ditches. It is strictly a lowland plant and requires fine substrates in standing or slow-flowing calcareous water. However, it is tolerant of significant nutrient pollution, and this has allowed it to persist in intensively farmed areas where more sensitive pondweeds have declined. Its production of both seed and turions makes it resistant to disturbance such as dredging, in contrast to some of the larger broad-leaved pondweeds.

    Environmental impact

    This pondweed is considered an invasive species in much of North America. It was introduced to the Great Lakes and inland lakes within that region. The plant thrives in conditions normally less habitable to native plant species. It competes with native plant life and sometimes displaces it. Curly pondweed may clog waterways, inhibiting aquatic recreation and is considered a nuisance in some areas.[citation needed] It has also been introduced to South America and New Zealand.[5]

    Curly pondweed Potamogeton crispus in a silty stream in southern Britain


    Potamogeton crispus is sometimes cultivated as a pond plant, and generally speaking makes a good garden plant. Since it starts to die back rather early, it is probably a good idea to cut it back in July after it has flowered. In common with other pondweeds of this group it roots poorly from stem cuttings and is best propagated by division of the rhizomes or from turions. As it has proved invasive in some areas, curly pondweed should not be grown outside its native range.


    1. ^ a b Preston C.D. (1995) Pondweeds of Great Britain and Ireland. BSBI Handbook No. 8. Botanical Society of the British Isles, London.
    2. ^ Rose, Francis (2006). The Wild Flower Key. Frederick Warne & Co. pp. 491–492. ISBN 978-0-7232-5175-0..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output q{quotes:"""""'"'"}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
    3. ^ Flora of North America
    4. ^ The Plant List: Potamogeton crispus. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanic Gardens. Accessed November 18, 2014
    5. ^ a b Guo Y., Haynes R.R., Hellquist C.B., Kaplan Z. 2010. Potamogeton. Flora of China, 23, 108-114. http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=10726


    provided by eFloras
    Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.
    provided by eFloras
    Distribution: Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
    provided by eFloras
    introduced; Alta., B.C., Ont., Que., Sask.; Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Conn., Del., D.C., D.C., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., Nebr., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.Dak., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.; Central America (Costa Rica); South America (Colombia, and Argentina); Eurasia; Australia.
    Distribution in Egypt
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    Nile region, Oases, Mediterranean region, Egyptian desert and Sinai.

    Global Distribution
    provided by Bibliotheca Alexandrina LifeDesk

    Temperate Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, North America.


    provided by eFloras
    No specimens have been seen from New Brunswick, but the species is to be expected there.

    Potamogeton crispus, an introduced species, has spread throughout much of North America. The expansion of this species’s range from its original collection in North America, apparently about 1840, has been discussed (R. L. Stuckey 1979). This is the only species of pondweeds in North America with serrate leaves and consequently it is easily recognized.

    Life history of Potamogeton crispus is unusual as it flowers and fruits in late spring and early summer, at which time it also produces turions. The plants decay shortly after those structures develop, leaving only fruits and turions, which survive the summer. No one has observed any seed germination, but the turions (referred to as dormant apices) germinate in late summer or fall, and the plants overwinter as small plants only a few cm centimeters in size, even under the ice in northern climates (R. L. Stuckey et al. 1978). Growth then continues as the water begins warming in the spring.

    One hybrid, Potamogeton crispus ´ P. praelongus (= P. ´ undulatus Wolfgang ex Schultes & Schultes f.), has been described.

    provided by eFloras
    Perennial, rhizomatous aquatic. Leaves submerged, sessile, broadly linear to oblong, undulate, translucent, serrate, 3-5-veined, usually obtuse, rarely acute 4-8 mm broad. Stipules free, 2-10 mm long, Spikes 5-8 cm long, ovoid-oblong, lax. Fruitlets 4-5 mm long, 2.5-3 mm broad, ovoid, beaked; beak long, decurrent.
    provided by eFloras
    Rhizomes absent. Cauline stems flattened, without spots, to 100 cm; nodal glands absent. Turions common, axillary or terminal, 1.5--3 ´ ca. 2 cm, hard; leaves ± 2-ranked; outer leaves 1--4 per side, base not corrugate, apex rounded; inner leaves rolled into linear, terete structure, oriented parallel to outer leaves. Leaves submersed, ± spirally arranged, sessile, lax; stipules persistent to deliquescent, inconspicuous, convolute, free from blade, brownish, not ligulate, to 0.5 cm, not fibrous, not shredding at tip, apex obtuse; blade light to dark green, linear, not arcuate, 1.2--9 cm ´ 4--10 mm, base obtuse to rounded, without basal lobes, not clasping to nearly clasping, margins conspicuously serrate, not crispate, apex not hoodlike, round to round-acute, lacunae in 2--5 rows each side of midrib; veins 3--5. Inflorescences unbranched, emersed; peduncles not dimorphic, terminal or rarely axillary, erect to ascending, cylindric, 2.5--4 cm; spikes not dimorphic, cylindric, 10--15 mm. Fruits sessile, red to reddish brown, obovoid, turgid to slightly concave, not abaxially or laterally keeled, 6 ´ 2.5 mm; beak apically recurved, 2--3 mm; sides without basal tubercles; embryo with 1 full spiral. 2n = 52 (Europe).
    Elevation Range
    provided by eFloras
    600-2000 m


    provided by eFloras
    Quiet waters, especially brackish, alkaline, or eutrophic waters of ponds, lakes, and streams; 0--2000m.


    provided by eFloras
    Flowering spring--summer.