Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
MUSKGRASS FAMILY (Characeae)
IND. STATUS: OBL
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).