American pondweed (also called long-leaf pondweed) has elliptical-shaped floating leaves that are green and often have brown spots.
The floating leaves of American pondweed are green, often with brown spots and yellowish lines. They are elliptical-shaped, leathery, four and a quarter inches long, nearly two inches wide, and on long leaf stalks. Submersed leaves are thin, oval, eight inches long, and grow to nearly one and a half inches wide. The greenish brown flower spike rises above the water; each flower is oval- or elliptical-shaped. American pondweed stems are thin (five- to eight-hundredths of an inch in diameter), often flat, and they branch out. The rhizomes are white with rusty red spots.
Illinois pondweed and floating-leaf pondweed have similar floating leaves to American pondweed, but the long leaf stalks separate it from the others. Flowing waters are more likely to contain American pondweed than lakes. Ducks and geese eat the tiny fruits of this pondweed, and animals such as deer, moose, and muskrats eat other parts of the plant. Fish and other aquatic creatures live among this plant and forage for food around it.
American pondweed can be found throughout the United States.