Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Potamogeton pectinatus L.
- Family: Pondweed (Potamogetonaceae)
- Flowering: June-September
- Field Marks: All the leaves of saga pondweed are extremely narrow, never more than 1/20 inch wide. The yellow-brown fruits have a short, pointed beak.
- Habitat: Shallow to somewhat deep, usually fresh water.
- Habit: Submersed perennial, usually with small tubers.
- Stems: Very slender, up to 1/20 inch wide, dichotomously branched, up to 2-3 feet long.
- Leaves: Alternate or subopposite, all submersed, very narrow, up to 4 inches long, up to 1/20 inch wide.
- Flowers: Very tiny, crowded into short, slender spikes, the spikes up to 2 inches long, arranged in 2-7 whorls, each spike on thread-like stalks up to 6 inches long.
- Sepals: 4, greenish, bract-like.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 4, each one attached to the base of a sepal.
- Pistils: 4, free from each other.
- Fruits: 4 in a cluster, yellow-brown, obovoid, 1/6-1/4 inch long, with a short, pointed beak.
- Notes: The small tubers of this species are starchy and are used as a source of food for waterfowl and muskrats.
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