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Elodea nuttallii

Identity

Common name: Nuttall's waterweed
Synonyms: Anacharis nuttallii, Elodea columbiana
Origin: North America
Plant type: Herbaceous
Life cycle: Perennial
Code of conduct: Annex II
Invasive status (ISEIA protocol): Black list
Main ornemental function: Plants for ponds

Description

Elodea nuttallii is a submerged, aquatic perennial. Stems branch out between 15 and 50 cm in length. Leaves dark green, grouped by 3 to 4, clearly longer than wide.

Spread

This aquatic plant mainly spread vegetatively by fragmentation and stem cuttings. Plant fragments have a high survival rate. Stem fragments float away, root and regenerate new plants. They produces hibernacles, specialised buds to ensure the survival of the plant in winter and at the same time its multiplication.

Habitat

Elodea nuttallii invades slow-flowing systems. The plant is able to grow in a wide range of conditions, from very shallow to deep waters or from acid water to heavily mineralized water in calcareous sediments. It can even grow and survive under and inside ice.

Impact

Species classified A3 in Belgium. In expansion in Europe. Highly invasive in France. This waterweed has rapidly colonise the major part of the European hydrographic network. Qualified as a pest for waterways, E. nuttallii is able to outcompete native aquatic plants and have a negative impact on ecosystem functionning. It forms dense populations over large areas, leading to water eutrophisation and creating anoxic conditions detrimental for aquatic life. In addition it can impede waterflow and adversely affect recreation activities. For more information about this species, click here

Recommendation

Avoid planting this species near aquatic habitats (ponds, lakes, rivers, etc.), especially in the vicinity of protected areas (natural reserves, Natura 2000 sites, etc.).

Possible native alternative

Main ornemental function

Plants for ponds

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