Floating Watermoss

Close up of floating watermoss with some duckweed around.

Floating watermoss has two upper lobes that are hairy and a lower lobe that acts like roots. The rows of opposite lobes form a cross shape on the water.

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Giant Salvinia

Close up of giant salvinia in various life stages.

Giant Salvinia is a small floating fern with two small, simple lobes as leaves. Some leaves modify to act as roots that branch horizontally.

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Pond Water Starwort

Pond water starwort in shallow water.

Pond water starwort has long, thin submersed leaves and floating leaves that resemble a four leaf clover. White flowers are held above water.

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Floating Crystalwort

Floating crystalwort close up.

Floating crystalwort forms green mats under or on the water’s surface. The stem and leaves all look the same with forked branches.

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Red Algae

Red algae all over in water.

Red algae can give the water a red or reddish brown hue but can also be green.

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Cyanobacteria in water and on rocks on shore.

Cyanobacteria are toxic bacteria that look like blue green algae: mats of green, blue, brown, or purplish red floating on the water.

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Starry Stonewort

Starry stonewort algae in hand with bulbs

Starry Stonewort resembles a submerged plant and can be identified by the little white stars amongst the gelatin-green branches.

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Chara Algae

Chara algae close up on top of water

Chara appears like a submerged plant, but it is not truly rooted. Chara is branched with whorls of leaf-like structures.

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Watermeal bright green on fingers extreme close up

Watermeal is a tiny floating plant that makes swirls across the water and looks like bright green strawberry seeds up close.

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Duckweed up close in hand with roots

Duckweed is a small free floating plant that resembles clovers and has short roots.

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Mosquito Fern

Mosquito fern in large group close up on water

Mosquito fern floats on the surface, forming large colonies, and can be green or red to brown.

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Bladderwort with young bladders close up

Bladderwort has yellow flowers and small bladders attached to the leaf like branches, which are alternately arranged.

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