Small water weed Potamogeton pusillus

Grasslike herb with slender, branching stem and threadlike, linear and coarse leaves and spike of flowers

  • English Name: Small water weed
  • Latin Name: Potamogeton pusillus
  • Propogate: Seeds
  • Symptoms: Grasslike mass of threadlike leaves and spike of flowers
  • Dangers: inhibites other aquatic plants, fishing, boating
Small Water Weed

The Gentle Ways of the Small Water Weed

The Small Water Weed is differentiated from the Leafy Pondweed by the small yellowish pair of glands at the base of the leaf. No other weed has those. Also, the stems of the Small water weed are smooth and round or cylindrical, unlike the Leafy Pondweed's slightly flattened stems.

The roots of the Small Water Weed are fibrous but do not have the nutrient heavy horizontal rhizomes. They love sheltered parts of lakes, ponds, creeks, canals and ditches. The water may be fresh and clear or brackish, as long as it is relatively warm, muddy or silty. Above all, the water must be shallow and very slow-moving, if at all.

The Small Water Weed reproduces both by seeds and vegetative propagation. As a result, this weed is surprisingly competitive despite, or maybe because, of its small size. In shallow water, it spreads aggressively and beats just about any other type of weed.

The weed is native to the US and is fairly common across the country.

Controlling the Small Water Weed

The Small Water Weed is not a nuisance weed. It can grow to large tangled mass in the right setting but even then, it is serves a rich source of food for water birds and fish. Ducks, geese, and swans love their seeds and foliage as do nearly all types of fish.

Where it becomes necessary to contain its spread, the usual method of reducing without totally eradicating the Small Water Weed is through raking. A quick way of accomplishing the task is using the Deskuzzer. This is one of our weed control products whose key advantage is to clear away water debris over a wide surface area quickly. It is a 5 foot wide floating seine with sturdy abrasion, ultra tough screen, and a 24 foot pull line.

In the rare cases where total eradication of the weed is necessary, few options beat the thoroughness, ease of operation and environmental safety of the Lake Bottom Blanket. This is our lead weed control product made of formulated polythene sheet that is about 10 feet wide and as long as required. The Blanket is made of material that is lighter than water, allowing it to pin down the weed while remaining suspended a foot or so above the water bed. Fish and water birds can swim freely below and above the Blanket.

The Lake Bottom Blanket works by simply blocking away sunlight. It has already been used in over 400 lakes in over 29 states, in each case returning a 100% kill rate. It has been approved for use by the DNRs and DEPs of California, Nevada, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Washington.

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