Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Ceratophyllum demersum

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east across North America to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Standing to slow-moving water, from the lowlands to mid-elevations in the mountains

Flowers: June-September

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Aquatic, monoecious, rootless, perennial herbs, the slender stems freely branching, up to 4 m. in length.


Leaves in whorls of 5-12, 1-2 times palmately and dichotomously dissected into linear or filiform, finely-toothed segments, often strongly dimorphic in different parts of the plant.


Flowers minute, apetalous, solitary in the leaf axils, both the staminate and pistillate flowers with a perianth of 8-15 greenish segments; stamens 10-16, the filaments very short; style 1, persistent; stigma short, entire.


Flattened achene, 4-6 mm. long, with a single, terminal, straight spine up to 12 mm. long, and 2 divergent, basal spines 1-6 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Ceratophyllum demersum L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 2: 992. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Ceratophyllum apiculatum Cham.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Ceratophyllum demersum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Ceratophyllum demersum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Ceratophyllum demersum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Ceratophyllum demersum photos.

USDA Plants: Ceratophyllum demersum information.

19 photographs:
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