Slender Naiad Najas minor

submerged, multi-branched weed with slender leaves

  • English Name: Slender Naiad
  • Latin Name: Najas minor
  • Propogate: Seeds, Vegatative fragmentation
  • Symptoms: Mat of multi-branched weed with slender leaves

The Expert Survival Tactics of the Slender Naiad

The Slender Naiad is a rooted plant that lives entirely underwater. It is green but not always uniformly so. Its stems and underside of leaves often have shades of brown or even purple.

It's also a weed that is neither overly choosy nor reckless. It prefers lowlands climate and water that is not fast-moving. Like ponds, lakes, slow-moving streams, pools and canals. It also prefers clean water. But when it must, Slender Naiad will thrive just fine in limestone infected or even blackish water.

The weed is native to North America and parts of Europe and is common in both continents.

Unlike most water weeds, the Slender Naiad is a seasonal plant. It lives and dies within the year. But, again unlike most water weeds, it has a surprisingly anti-water, open grasslands survival strategy to compensate for the short lifespan. That is, while it can propagate by stem fragmentation, it prefers to make baby-weeds the conventional grasslands way, by producing millions of seeds quickly. One research in the Tennessee River system revealed tens of millions of Slender Naiad seed per hectare.

Some serious organization is involved in this million-seeds making project. In late summer and early fall, the seed laden stems of the plant break away from the mother plant and drift away. Each floating stem bravely resists the temptation to grow into a new plant and instead holds on to its share of the seeds as it drifts further and further away. Then, as the season turns, the seeds are let go, a few at a time, to drift in the wind and current and finally down to a new home at the water bed.

Apparently in anticipation of this plan, the seeds are grown where the leaves join the stem, for easier transportation and camouflage against the many seed eaters of water world.

Dealing With Excessive Slender Naiad Weed

The trouble with the Slender Naiad weed is that clever seed dispersal strategy. Waterfowls love the taste of the weed and would probably have a chance at keeping its spread in check if only the weed stuck to one place. But that drifting trick and the millions of seeds involved means that the weed often wins.

Plus, the Slender Naiad has one Ninja-like final survival trick. It uses other weeds for cover. It will grow into dense underwater web of stems where there are already colonies of other hardy weeds such as Southern Naiad, Coontail or any one of the various Pondweeds or Watermilfoils.

Which means Najas Minor is quite often a nuisance weed.

Excessive Slender Naiad weeds are typically dealt with by physical removal cutting and raking. This is where the Deskuzzer comes in handy. The Deskuzzer is 5 feet wide floating seine with a 24 feet pull line that makes it easier to drag the weed to the shore. It is one of our weed harvesting tools.

Some herbicides are also effective against Slender Naiad, especially before the seeds mature.

But where the plan is to clear the weed away totally, the trick is to use the Lake Bottom blanket. This is our lead weed control product made of a 10 feet wide sheet of specially treated polythene. The sheet can be as long as required and is anchored in the water by weights. It remains suspended a short distance from the water bed because of its lighter-than water property, allowing fish and other aquatic animals to freely swim above and below the blanket. The Blanket totally kills all weeds by simply starving them of sunlight.

In the 400-plus lakes in over 29 states that the Lake Bottom Blanket has already been used, it has returned a 100% weed killing rate within a few weeks. The Blanket is approved for use by the DNRs and DEPs of California, Nevada, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington.