Large-leaf pondweed has long, wide floating leaves that curl away from the stem.
Submersed leaves are folded in the middle and arched, curving away from the stem. These leaves can be one and a half to almost three inches wide and have 25-37 veins. Leaf stalks vary in length. Floating leaves are oval, two to four inches long, one to two inches wide, and also have many veins. They are on long stalks. Stipules (extra little leaves at the base of the leaf stalks) are narrow and come to a sharp point for both submersed and floating leaves. Large-leaf pondweed flower stalks (which later fruit) rise above the water and are one to two inches tall. These nutlets are on a thick stem.
Large-leaf pondweed gets its alternate names of musky weed and bass weed because it serves as a prime habitat for those and other types of freshwater fish. Waterfowl feast on the many nutlets this pondweed produces. Large-leaf pondweed is often found growing in soft sediments and is easily damaged when boats drive over it. This particular plant will hybridize with either of two other pondweeds: Illinois and Richardson’s.
Large-leaf pondweed can be found across most of the United States except for the southwest.