Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Ribbonleaf Pondweed - Potamogeton epihydrus   Rafinesque
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Section 5 » Order Najadales » Family Potamogetonaceae
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AuthorRafinesque
DistributionNearly throughout the mountains, and scattered across much of the Coastal Plain, most frequent near the Fall Line. However, essentially absent in the Piedmont; this is a real dichotomy of the range.

This is a widespread though mostly Northern species, ranging rom Canada south to southern SC, LA, and central CA. However, it is scarce in the Piedmont, as well as in much of the Mideast and Midwest.
AbundanceUncommon to infrequent in the mountains; rare to uncommon in the Coastal Plain, rarer toward the coast.
HabitatThe species has a habitat similar to nearly all other pondweeds -- still or very slowly moving waters of lakes, ponds, and streams.
See also Habitat Account for General Herbaceous Ponds
PhenologyFlowers and fruits from June to September.
IdentificationThis pondweed has both submerged and floating leaves, and the often branched stem (that is usually flattened) can reach up to 5 feet long. The submerged leaves are linear but not filiform as in some species, being about 4-6 inches long and about 1/5-inch wide, with 5-7 nerves -- often considered as "ribbon-like". These leaves have a very pale green to almost translucent band in the middle of the blade, quite distinctive. The floating leaves are generally numerous and rather long, about 2 inches long and 2/3-inch wide, elliptical to obovate, with 11-27 nerves. The petioles of these floating leaves are rather long, often 1.5 inches long. The spikes are numerous, cylindrical, and about 3/4-inch long, densely packed with small flowers. The pale area on the submerged leaves should suffice for identification, as should the quite long and ribbon-like shape of these leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Nuttall's Pondweed, American Pondweed
State RankS3? [S3]
Global RankG5
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