Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Spotted Pondweed - Potamogeton pulcher   Tuckerman
Members of Potamogetonaceae:
Members of Potamogeton with account distribution info or public map:
Google Images
Section 5 » Order Najadales » Family Potamogetonaceae
Show/Hide Synonym
DistributionThroughout the Coastal Plain and the eastern edge of the Piedmont. Widely scattered in the rest of the Piedmont and southern Mountains, but seemingly absent in the central and northern Mountains and most of the northwestern Piedmont.

This is an Eastern species, ranging from southeastern Canada south to northern FL and eastern TX. It is most frequent along the Atlantic Coastal region from NH to SC.
AbundanceFairly common to common in the Coastal Plain and extreme eastern Piedmont. Uncommon and local in the rest of the Piedmont and the southern Mountains. This is likely the second most common pondweed in the state, after P. diversifolius.
HabitatThis species grows in typical habitats for pondweeds -- still or very slowly-moving waters such as pools, ponds, lakes, ditches, and sluggish creeks. Water chemistry varies from acidic to mildly alkaline.
See also Habitat Account for General Herbaceous Ponds
PhenologyFlowers and fruits from June to September.
IdentificationThis is a rather short species, seldom more than 1.5 feet long, with both submerged and floating leaves. The stem usually has no or very few branches and has black spotting. The submerged leaves are lanceolate or narrowly elliptical, about 4-5 inches long but only 3/4-inch wide, with entire but wavy margins. The floating leaves are rather large (much larger than those of P. diversifolius), being elliptical to ovate, about 2.5 inches long and 1.5 inches wide, with broadly rounded bases. These leaves contain many nerves (15-21), and the petioles are long (about 2.5-3 inches long), stout, and black-spotted. The spikes are densely flowered, cylindrical, and about 1.5 inches long. This familiar species should be readily told by the black-spotted stems (and petioles) and the strongly wavy ("crisped") margins of the submerged leaves.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)Heartleaf Pondweed
State RankS4 [S4S5]
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpOBL link
USACE-empOBL link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.

View Mapping Selection Options
Select a source
Select an occurrence type