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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Wetland Plants and Plant Communities of Minnesota and Wisconsin


(Chara vulgaris L.)




FIELD CHARACTERISTICS: A macroscopic alga with cylindrical, whorled branches. Each joint of the "stem" consists of a single cell. The common name comes from the strong, musk-like odor of this alga.

ECOLOGICAL NOTES: Muskgrass is almost always found in mineral-rich water and these plants often have incrustations of lime.

The muskgrasses (Chara spp.) are an important food for ducks, especially when they bear their microscopic, spore-like oogonia.

SOURCE: Fassett (1957); and Martin et al. (1951).

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