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Curly-leaf Pondweed

Photo by Kristian Peters

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Common Name: Curly-leaf pondweed
Scientific Name: Potamogeton crispus
Origin: Europe, Africa, Australia


Curly-leaf pondweed is a submerged perennial that resembles many native pondweeds. Care must be taken to correctly identify this species. Rigid, reddish-green, oblong leaves have distinct, finely toothed, wavy edges. The plant’s flat, reddish-brown stem grows from one to 16 feet. Most reproduction is from winter buds, called turions.


Curly-leaf pondweed is tolerant of low light and low water temperatures and invades shallow as well as deep water.


New plants form under ice cover during late winter, making curly-leaf pondweed one of the first plants to emerge in early summer. Plant die-offs in midsummer may cause a critical loss of oxygen.


Control methods for curly-leaf pondweed have included physical, mechanical, or chemical techniques. There are many native look-alike pondweeds. Please confirm identification before beginning any management program.

Distribution: View Map

Invasive Rank