My Bantam Lake

American Eelgrass

Written on 06/18/2018


Vallisneria americana

American Eelgrass is a native plant species to Connecticut. A native plant is one that occurs naturally in a particular habitat, ecosystem or region without human introduction. It is well adapted to that region's soil, moisture and weather conditions. Eelgrass leaves are about one inch wide and can be several feet long arising in clusters from their roots. The leaves have rounded tips and raised veins. Single white female flowers grow to the water surface on very long stalks. Tape grass fruit is a banana-like capsule having many tiny seeds. The long strap-like leaves grow from stoloniferous clumps submerged under water. In shallow water, leaves may reach and float on the surface. After flowers are fertilized, the flower stalks curl into spirals and pull the flowers under the surface. An important source of food for turtles and other aquatic wildlife. Good for wetland gardens and habitat.

 

Sources:

Plant Native Species, Connecticut, National Audubon Society http://ct.audubon.org/plant-native-species-0

Vallisneria americana, Plant Database, Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center, The University of Texas at Austin https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=vaam3