Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Potamogeton crispus
L., Potamogetonaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: zu cao

English: curled pondweed, curly pondweed, curly-leaved pondweed, curlyleaf pondweed, river weed

French: potamot crépu

Habit:  aquatic herb

Description:  "Submersed perennial herbs with rhizomes creeping above and below the mud and with fibrous roots on the lower side of each node.  Stems and rhizomes often 3 to 4 m long, richly branched, leaves alternate.  The small perfect flowers are on pedunculate axillary spikes, fruiting carpels are one-seeded, indehiscent seeds are without endosperm, the embryo with a large "foot," and the plumule enclosed by the cotyledon.  In P. Crispus the slender stems are laterally compressed, tending to be 4-angled with furrows on broader sides that are 0.5 to 2.5 mm wide; rhizomes may be buff or reddish in color; leaves alternate, sessile, narrowly lanceolate to linear-oblong, obtuse, serrulate, undulate to strongly wavy at margins, bright green to dark green, may be reddish, 0.75 to 1.5 cm wide, 10 cm long, free stipular sheath, stipular sheath 5 to 15 mm long, truncate, often disintegrating; inflorescence in 3 to 5 whorls of flowers, spike 1 to 2 cm long; fruiting carpels 2 to 7 mm long, 1.5 to 3 mm wide, dark olive to brownish, sometimes with strongly developed dorsal keel, conspicuous or somewhat curved beak, fruit body with smooth to strongly tuberculate sides"  (Holm et al., 1997; pp. 626-627).

Habitat/ecology:  Found in ditches, streams and impoundments.  Mainly a freshwater plant, but will tolerate some brackishness.  (Holm et al., 1997; pp. 629, 631).

In Fiji, "a naturalized weed in low elevation ponds and rivers, sometimes carried into saltwater bays by floods.  It is a submerged herb, sometimes rooting at depths as much as 3 m., or found at the edges of fast-flowing steams and rivers, often in thick beds, and often associated with Hydrilla verticillata.  It has become a serious weed, especially in the Rewa River system, because of its tendency to become entangled in the propellers of small boats"  (Smith, 1979; pp. 130-131).

Propagation:  Floating seed and asexually by turions (specialized vegetative buds) and stem fragments (Holm et al., 1997; pp. 632-637).

Native range:  Europe, Asia, northern Africa, Australia (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
invasive
Smith, Albert C. (1979) (p. 132)
Vouchers cited: DA 16631; DA 16630, DA 14527, DA 16613, DA 11543, DA 16626, DA 16623, DA 16622, DA 16602, DA 11828, DA L. 15599
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 630)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 630)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 630)
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 630)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia (Republic of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 630)
Japan
Japan
Japan (country) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
North Korea
North Korea
North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
South Korea
South Korea
South Korea (Republic of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Healy, A. J./Edgar, E. (1980) (p. 37)
"In lakes, ponds, rivers, streams and water races".
Thailand
Thailand
Thailand (Kingdom of)   Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James (1997) (p. 630)

Control:  See "Biology and control of aquatic plants: A best management practices handbook"  for control information (large file, PDF format).

Additional information:
Information from the Global Invasive Species Database
Photos and other information at the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide
Information and photos at University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
Fact sheet from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Information from the Global Invasive Species Database.
See information in the book "Biology and control of aquatic plants: A best management practices handbook"  (large file, PDF format).

Additional online information about Potamogeton crispus is available from the Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk project (HEAR).

Information about Potamogeton crispus as a weed (worldwide references) may be available from the Global Compendium of Weeds (GCW).

Taxonomic information about Potamogeton crispus may be available from the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).

References:

Gettys, Lyn A./Haller, William T./Bellaud, Marc; eds. 2009. Biology and control of aquatic plants: A best management practices handbook. Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation, Marietta, Georgia. ISBN 978-0-615-32646-7. 200 pp.

Healy, A. J./Edgar, E. 1980. Flora of New Zealand, Volume III: Adventive cyperaceous, petalous & spathaceous monocotyledons. Government Printer, Wellington, New Zealand. 220 pp.

Holm, Leroy/Doll, Jerry/Holm, Eric/Pancho, Jaun/Herberger, James. 1997. World weeds: natural histories and distribution. John Wiley & Sons. 1129 pp.

Smith, Albert C. 1979. Flora Vitiensis nova: a new flora of Fiji. National Tropical Botanical Garden, Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii. Volume 1. 494 pp.

U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. 2013. National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Online searchable database.

Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong. 2013. Flora of China (online resource).


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 26 JAN 2007 and was last updated on 21 JAN 2010.