Canadian water weed

Canadian water weed

Elodea canadensis (Hydrocharitaceae)

Common Name:

Canadian water weed

Scientific Name:

Elodea canadensis (Hydrocharitaceae)

Alternative common names:

Kanadese waterpes (Afrikaans)


A submerged aquatic plants with slender stems up to 3m long. Green, finely serrated leaves 5-15mm long usually in whorls of three. Yellow or cream flowers on long, thread-like stalks which float on the water surface. It invades still or slow-moving water in lakes and ponds.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Temperate North America.

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Existing legislation: CARA 2002 - Category 1 NEMBA - Category 1b

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

How does it spread?

It produces flowers and seeds, otherwise it reproduces by runners.

Why is it a problem?

Forms dense submerged masses which can reduce water flow, clog irrigation pumps, interfere with recreational activities and smother indigenous aquatic plant and animal life.

What does it look like?

General description: Submerged aquatic plant with slender stems up to 3m long.
Leaves: Very finely toothed along the edges, but evident only with magnification.
Flowers: Yellow or cream, three-petalled flowers 3-5mm across, on long, thread-like stalks and float on water surface.
Fruit/Seeds: None

Does the plant have any uses?

Used as an ornament, also for aquarium trade.

Leave a Reply