Tassel Pondweed

Name

Estuarine pondweed, tassel pondweed or ditch grass (Ruppia maritima)

Description

Contrary to its name it is not a water plant but the pondweed tolerates saltwater. It has a grass-like appearance with long thin (1mm) stems of up to 1 m long and leaves and short flower stalks.

Habitat

Pondweed is often found in coastal wetlands and estuaries where it grows underwater to form dense clumps that can damage boat propellers. It is an important food for waterfowl.

Field Notes

Most often this plant pollinates itself, but can also be pollinated by floating pollen.
Fish and waterfowl can spread the seeds and fruit but the plant can also grow from its rootstock to form colonies.

Related species

Ruppia cirrhosa: which has a coiled flower stalk.
Potamogeton pectinatus: which display its flowers clustered on a spike.