Rooted, dense, heavily branched weed with tangled stems and long, dark green to greenish-purple, ribbon-like leaves
The Naiad or Najas family of weeds are hard to tell apart. All of them are totally submersed plants, so much that even their flowers and seeds are produced underwater. The leaves are usually dark green, but depending on the season may acquire shades of greenish-purple coloration.
All of them have rooted plants with longish stems that are heavily branched and tiny spines on the edges of the leaves that at first seem like teeth. . That seed-factory talent is backed by an efficient seed dispersal system involving seed-laden twigs breaking away from the parent plant and drifting away in the current and wind.
Which explains why, despite being seasonal plants that live their lives within a year, they still manage to dominate their environments. They often form huge, think, tangled mass that clogs any water body.
So how do you tell the Southern Naiad from the rest? It's tough. The Southern Naiad looks like most its cousins, particularly the European Naiad, an immigrant to the US that is not as prevalent in North America. The difference is that the leaves of the American Southern Naiad have blunt tips, more like straps or ribbons. They are also flatter, straighter and wider than other naiads' leaves. Plus, the spines on edges of the leaves are so tiny that they can be hard to spot even with a hand lens. Also, the Southern Naiad can handle warmer water temperatures than the other Najas.
Like all native weeds, the Southern Naiad has local animals and birds that have developed taste buds for its foliage and seeds. Water fowls, for instance, go to a lot of trouble to reach the seeds.
The problem is Southern Naiad seeds are encased in the leaf sheath, a trick that further explains why the specie is such a successful breeder. Flowers too are camouflaged, they are so small that in many cases, some magnification, such as a hand lens, is necessary to spot them.
Fortunately, their seasonal nature and dispersal of seeds through floating twigs means they can be contained with simple physical removal, such as by cutting and raking. Done at the right point of the season before the seeds are mature the removal method can have a huge impact. Which is why the Deskuzzer, one of our weed control products, is particularly suited for the task. It is a 5 foot wide floating seine with sturdy abrasion, ultra tough screen, and a 24 foot pull line that gives it a reach beyond any other water removal tool.
Where, however, a complete decimation of the weed is required, nothing beats the Lake Bottom Blanket, our lead water weed control tool. The Blanket is a 10 feet wide sheet of specially treated polythene that is anchored in the water by weights. It is made of lighter-than-water material, which means it remains suspended in the water without touching the water bed. That leaves plenty of space for fish and even water fowls to go about their business as usual. The Blanket totally destroys weeds within weeks by simply blocking their access to sunlight.
The Lake Bottom Blanket has already been used in over 400 lakes in 29 states, in all instances scoring a 100% weed killing rate. It is approved for use by the DNRs and DEPs of California, Nevada, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington.
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