Practical ecological knowledge for the temperate reader.


Family: Potamogetonaceae [E-flora]

Local Species;

Curled Pondweed - Potamogeton crispus

Origin Status: Exotic [E-flora]

"Potamogeton crispus is a PERENNIAL at a fast rate. It is in flower from May to October, and the seeds ripen from Jun to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It can grow in water." [PFAF]

"General: Perennial, aquatic herb from fibrous roots; stems compressed, branched, up to 150 cm long." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Leaves: All submersed, narrowly oblong with parallel sides, 1-10 cm long, 0.4-1 cm wide, with 9 to 35 veins, attached at the nodes, the tips rounded, the bases rounded and toothed, the margins wavy, with tiny teeth, dark green and crispy, stipules inconspicuous, 0.5 cm long." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Flowers: Inflorescence spikelike, the spikes 2.5-4 cm long, with 3 to 5 whorls of flowers, the stalks thin." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Fruits: Achenes, lanceolate, 5-6 mm long (including the beaks), 2-2.3 mm wide, the beaks 2-3 mm long, prominent, pointed, the keels well-developed, toothed." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Notes: Stem anatomical characters Interlacunar and subepidermal bundles absent, pseudohypodermis 1 cell thick, endodermis of O-cells." [IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat / Range
"Nutrient rich lakes, ponds and sloughs in the lowland and steppe zones; common in S BC south of 50 degrees N; introduced from Eurasia." [IFBC-E-flora]
"Lakes, ponds, streams, canals etc[17]. Found in fresh and in saline water[235]. Europe, including Britain, to Asia." [PFAF]

Edible Uses


"Seed - we have no information for this species but suggest sowing the seed in a pot that is standing in its own depth of water in a greenhouse as soon as the seed is ripe if this is possible. Stored seed is likely to have a short viability. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and increase the depth of water around the pot until the plants are covered by a few centimetres of water. Grow the plants on in a sunny position in the greenhouse for their first winter, increasing the depth of water as the plants grow larger. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer. Division in spring[56]. Cuttings of erect shoots in the growing season[56]." [PFAF]

"A submerged aquatic plant that can be used as an oxygenator of ponds[1]. It is best given a loam based medium in full sun[200]. It prefers alkaline water[200]. Prefers cool water[188]. A fast growing plant in need of constant checking to make sure it does not overrun the pond[200]. Hybridizes freely with other members of this genus, the resulting progeny is usually sterile[200]." [PFAF]

P. serratus. [PFAF]

Uses of Other Potamogeton Sp.

Additional Notes

allelopathic: "Another floating leaved macrophyte with allelopathic potential is the pondweed Potamogeton natans. This species was found to contain diterpene lactones with antialgal activity (Cangiano et al. 2001; Della Greca et al. 2001). Most submersed pondweeds, however, seem to exhibit no allelopathic activity, such as P. crispus (Nakai et al. 1999), P. perfoliatus and P. pectinatus (K├Ârner and Nicklisch, 2002)." [Reigosa alleleopathy]

Phytochemistry: Eschscholtzxanthin found in Potamogeton spp. [Connolly DT]



  1. [E-flora], Accessed Feb 8, 2015
  2. [Jepson] C. Barre Hellquist, Robert F. Thorne & Robert R. Haynes 2012, Potamogeton, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 23, 2018.
  3. [PFAF], Accessed Feb 8, 2015

Page last modified on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 4:36 AM