Weed Control

How to Control Aquatic Weed Types and Aquatic Plants

Ponds grow a variety of pond weed types, many of which look similar. The aquatic weed identification information below lists the most common weed types -- including emergent, submerged, and floating weeds -- to help you explore and identify aquatic weeds in your pond or lake.

For those looking for weed control solutions, Lake Restoration has developed all-in-one pond and lake weed control kits that make it unnecessary to identify the type of weeds in your pond. Feel free to use the information below to facilitate your pond weed identification goals, or contact us today to talk to our customer support team about the right control product for your pond or lake.

Weed Chart

Water Stargrass

Water Stargrass

Water stargrass has thin green leaves and small, yellow, star–shaped flowers.

Bur Reed

Bur Reed

Bur reed is a tall grass-like plant with distinctive prickly-looking flowers.

Frogs Bit

Frog’s Bit

Frog’s Bit is an emergent aquatic plant with round to heart-shaped leaves and white flowers.

Spatterdock (Cow Lily)

Spatterdock, Cow Lily

Spatterdock has large heart-shaped leaves that float on the water or stand up some and yellow flowers.

Arrowhead (Bull Tongue)


Arrowhead has large arrow–like leaves and white flowers.



Pickerelweed has elongated heart–shaped leaves with violet-blue flowers.

Parrot’s Feather

Parrot’s feather has feathered leaves that come above the water’s surface and can look like they are made of plastic.

Floating Primrose

Floating primrose leaves emerge from the water’s surface and the plant blooms with five-petal yellow flowers.



Bulrushes are long grass–like plants with brown spiky flowers that bloom in spring.

Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

Purple loosestrife has woody, square stems with purple flowers at the ends.



Phragmites were at one point considered an invasive and exotic species in North America, however, recent evidence has shown that the plants are actually native.

Watershield (Dollar Bonnet)


Watershield is a rooted plant that floats on the surface similar to water lilies. Watershield leaves are typically between one inch and two inches across.


Water Lily

The yellow water lily has large heart-shaped leaves between 8 and 16 inches that float on the surface. Leaf veins extend laterally from midrib. It’s flower is bright yellow, with a single row of petals.



Cattails are thickly rooted with leaf blades that are long and strap-like flat, about 1″ wide, and rounded on the back. The slender stalks range between 3′ and 10′ tall and are topped by a cigar-shaped “cattail” called a catkin.

Sago Pondweed

Sago Pondweed is a very common species of submersed plant that is found in both lakes and ponds. It’s usually found in depths of 1-2 meters and is a bottom-rooting species.


Naiads are perrenial freshwater plants that like to grow in standing waters. The majority of their growth is done typically in the spring and early summer.


Coontail lacks true roots, though it may be loosely anchored to the sediment by pale modified leaves. The central stem of the plant is hollow. The plant’s dark green leaves are 1-3 cm long and are spiny and forked.

Clasping-Leaf Pondweed

Clasping-leaf pondweed can be easily identified by its thin, delicate, oval shaped leaves. The leaves are wide and wavy with a broad base that ‘clasps’ the stem.

Curly-Leaf Pondweed

Curly-Leaf Pondweed

Curly-Leaf Pondweed appears reddish-brown in the water, but is actually green when examined out of water. Its leaves are wavy, stiff and crinkled, with a “crispy” texture (0.5 in. wide and 2-3 in. long).


Hydrilla is a submerged plant from the genus Hydrilla. Hydrilla stems are up to 25 feet long and branched with oppositely arranged leaves at the bottom. Upper portions of the Hydrilla plant can have 2 to 8 whorls of leaves around the stem.