Curly Leaf Pond Weed (Potamogeton crispus) is a submerged invasive perennial plant that looks very similar to many native species. A distinguishing characteristic is the scallop on its leaf edges which makes each rigid leaf look like a little wavy reddish-green lasagna noodle. The leaf edges are also finely toothed (i.e., serrated) and grow on flat, reddish-brown stems that can grow to 16 feet in length.
The plant begins to grow under the ice in late winter. It could be one of the first plants paddlers see on spring excursions. The Curly Leaf Pond Weed grows in many conditions including those not tolerated by other species, such as in shaded, polluted, or turbid areas. The Curly Leaf Pond Weed reproduces by winter buds, called turions but also by creeping underground stems called rhizomes and seeds.
You Can Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants. Always Clean, Drain, and Dry Your Boat, Paddle Gear, and Footwear.
● Clean all plant stems and fragments and mud from boats and trailers before leaving your lake or river and dispose of them in an aquatic invasive species disposal station if one is available.
● Empty all water from your gear well before moving to a new body of water.
● Dispose of leftover bait in the trash, not in the water.
● Clean out waders and wading boots before moving to a new body of water.
● Dry your boat and gear thoroughly between waterbodies by towel drying or drying in the sun for at least 5 days.
Report Curly Leaf Pond Weed with http://www.nyimapinvasives.org/ or contact the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP). You can help ADK survey ponds and lakes for aquatic invasive species such as Yellow Floating Heart, European frog-bit, European Water Chestnut, and Curly Leaf Pond Weed. For more information on the Backcountry Water Monitors Project and upcoming workshops and outings visit www.ADK.org.
Sources and Field Guide Pages for Download