Page author: Don Knoke
Potamogeton natans
floating pondweed, floating-leaved pondweed

Distribution: Alaska south on both sides of the Cascades to California, east to Arizona and northeast United States.

Habitat: In rather shallow, standing water, often where brackish.

Flowers: May - August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Aquatic, herbaceous perennials from slender rhizomes, the stems mostly unbranched, sub-terete, up to 2 mm. thick and 1.5 m. long.


Leaves alternate, the submersed leathery, sub-terete, narrowly linear, 10-20 cm. long and 1-2 mm. broad; floating leaves long-petioled, leathery, ovate-lanceolate to ovate-elliptic, rounded to nearly cordate at the base, 5-10 cm. long and 2.5-5 cm. broad, 19- to 35-nerved; stipules firm, fibrous, 4-10 cm. long.


: Flowers perfect, in densely-flowered spikes in 10-12 whorles, on stout peduncles 3-8 cm. long; perianth of 4 clawed segments, each with an upturned, oval blade; stamens 4, fused with the claws; pistils 4, sessile.


Achenes obliquely elliptic-obovoid, 3-5 mm. long, including the conical, stylar beak, rounded on the back.

Accepted Name:
Potamogeton natans L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 126. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Potamogeton natans in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Potamogeton natans checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Potamogeton natans atlas page.

CalPhotos: Potamogeton natans photos.

USDA Plants: Potamogeton natans information.

15 photographs:
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