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Canadian water weed
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.
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.