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Brittle Naiad (water nymph)

Photo by Graves Lovell, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bugwood.org

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Common Name: Brittle naiad (water nymph)
Scientific Name: Najas minor
Origin: Europe, Africa, Asia


Brittle naiad is an herbaceous annual that grows in dense clusters. Its leaves have visible serrations and are long, pointed, and oppositely arranged on highly branched stems. The plant can reproduce from stem fragments or from small seeds which grow along its stem.


Brittle naiad is most often found in ponds, lakes, reservoirs, and slow-moving streams typically in water of depths 2-15 feet.


Thick infestations of brittle naiad inhibit the growth of native aquatic plants and can make fishing or boating access difficult. This plant is extremely brittle and has the propensity to break off, increasing the likelihood for it to spread via boats, waterfowl, and water currents. Waterfowl readily eat and move this plant from waterbody to waterbody.


Limited information is available on the management of brittle naiad. Prevention is the most effective control!

Distribution: View Map


is present in the FL-PRISM.

Invasive Rank

Download factsheet here: FactsheetsBrittleNaiad (pdf)