Curly Leaf

Curly-leaf pondweed Potamogeton crispus L.

Curly-leaf pondweed is a hardy invasive aquatic plant, capable of spreading quickly from seeds, turions (dormant vegetative propagules), and leaf fragments that grow new roots. Leaves are about three inches wide and are wavy with toothed ridges. Its peak growing season is early in the spring, then starts to die back when other aquatic plants are starting to reach their peak. Its resistance to cold and low-light conditions provides it an advantage over other aquatic species. It actively grows during the winter, in one case under 20 feet of snow-covered ice. It can be affected by the severity of the weather, but has proven to be quite resilient against cold and poor growing conditions.

Present in every state in the continental U.S. except Maine and South Carolina, curly-leaf pondweed was originally native to Eurasia, Africa, and Australia. Its unusual growing cycle means that dead plants often wash ashore during summer months. It’s also been known to choke out and out-compete native plants.

If you find this weed on your property or around Teton County, please report it immediately at 733-8419.

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