Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Elodea canadensis Michx.
- Family: Frog-bit (Hydrocharitaceae)
- Flowering: July-September
- Field Marks: This Elodea has most leaves at least 1/10 inch wide and male flowers borne on stalks.
- Habitat: Quiet water.
- Habit: Aquatic perennial herb with thread-like stolons and either male or female flowers.
- Stems: Slender, smooth, with equal branching.
- Leaves: Upper and middle leaves in whorls of 3, the lower opposite, those of the male plants linear or
linear-lanceolate, pointed at the tip, up to 1/2 inch long, up to 1/6 inch wide, those of the female plants
broadly lanceolate, rounded or slightly pointed at the tip, up to 5/8 inch long, up to 1/4 inch wide.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne on separate plants from the axils of the leaves; male flowers:
sepals 3, green, up to 1/4 inch long; petals 3, white, up to 1/4 inch long; stamens 9; female flowers:
sepals 3, united at base to form a tube, green, up to 1/10 inch long; petals 3, united at base to form a
tube, white, up to 1/8 inch long; ovary inferior; stigmas 3.
- Fruits: Ovoid, smooth, up to 1/4 inch long.
- Notes: The tube of the female flowers becomes elongated so that the lobes of the sepals and petals
reach the surface of the water. This is a widely used aquarium and laboratory plant.
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