Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Zannichellia palustris L.
- Family: Pondweed (Potamogetonaceae)
- Flowering: March-November
- Field Marks: This submersed aquatic with very slender stems and opposite leaves has conspicuously beaked achenes.
- Habitat: Fresh water or brackish lakes, ponds, and streams.
- Habit: Submersed perennial with creeping rhizomes.
- Stems: Thread-like, branched, up to 1 1/2 feet long, smooth.
- Leaves: All submersed, opposite, thread-like, up to 3 1/2 inches long, pointed at the tip, with a transparent sheath at the base.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne separately in the same leaf axils.
- Sepals: O, although 3 transparent scales may subtend the male flower and 1 scale usually subtends the female flower.
- Petals: O.
- Stamens: 1.
- Pistils: 2-6, free from each other.
- Fruits: 2-6 achenes, oblong, flattened, up to 1/6 inch long, with a slender beak up to 1/8 inch long, each achene often on a very short stalk.
- Notes: This species is sometimes placed in its own family, the Zannichelliaceae. The entire plant may be utilized as food for waterfowl and some fish.
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