Curlyleaf Pondweed

Potamogeton crispus L.
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County Declared
Priority 1
curly pondweed, crispy-leaved pondweed


Curlyleaf pondweed is a perennial, submerged aquatic plant in the Potamogetonaceae (pondweed) family. Leaves are long (1.5 to 4 inches) and narrow. They are green to reddish-brown and translucent. Leaves are arranged alternately on flattened stems. Stems may be green, red, brown, or white. They are branched near the ends. Flowers are very small and arranged in spikes on stalks that emerge above the water surface. Curlyleaf pondweed produces seeds and turions. Turions are small and brown resembling pine cones. Curlyleaf pondweed has an extensive root system of thick, yellow rhizomes.

Origin and Spread

Curlyleaf pondweed is native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia and was likely introduced to North America as either an aquarium plant or through introduction of common carp. It spreads locally by rhizomes and turions, and it is spread to other bodies of water as vegetative material attached to watercraft and equipment.

Management Options

Prevention strategies should be utilized as much as possible. Clean Drain Dry watercraft and trailers after leaving a body of water.

Cultural control strategies include maintaining a healthy nutrient balance by reducing runoff from lawns and pastures, but these strategies are not always viable in natural systems.

There are not any biological controls currently available for curlyleaf pondweed.

Raking or cutting by hand or with trimmers or harvesters can reduce large stands of curlyleaf pondweed.

Dense infestations can be managed with herbicides. Because of the complexity of using herbicides in aquatic systems, TCWP recommends that you contact our office or Wyoming Game and Fish before conducting aquatic treatments.

Additional Resources