Canadian Waterweed - Elodea canadensis

Alternative names
Canadian Pondweed

Forming deep green masses at or below the water surface, much branched, the shoots not collapsing out of water. Leaves in whorls, usually of three, the lowermost opposite, tongue shaped, at least 2 mm wide curved and minutely toothed. Flowers white or pale purple 4 to 5 mm, the male borne on long thread like stalks.

Similar Species

Elodea canadensis and Elodea nuttalli are very similar but can be separated by the leaf shape. E. canadensis has more oval leaves whilst E. nuttalli has strap-shaped leaves. Watch this video for a useful guide to both these species.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

The County Recorder has asked for a specimen of this plant to be retained for verification


Lakes, ponds and canals.

When to see it

May to September.

UK Status

Widespread and common in Britain.

VC55 Status

Locally frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 122 of the 617 tetrads.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map