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.

Visual example of types of aquatic weeds, including submersed weeds, free floating weeds, emergent weeds, rooted floating weeds, algae, and excess nutrients.

Turtleweed in group in front of a lake.


Turtleweed forms large colonies and looks shrub like. Pale green leaves are thin and curl slightly. Turtleweed has a strong odor.
Close up of sweet flag flower.


Sweetflag leaves grow in clusters from horizontal underground stems. Simple leaves are bright green and up to six feet long.
Spotted water hemlock in a forest.

Spotted Water Hemlock

Clusters of tiny white flowers grow atop this poisonous plant. Spotted water hemlock grows two to six feet tall and has compound leaves.
Spikerush in a group.


Spikerush stems are straight and grow in clusters from the rhizomes. There are no leaves; flowers grow atop the stems.
Close up of smooth waterhyssop flowers and leaves.

Smooth Waterhyssop

Smooth waterhyssop has many branches with bright green leaves that are succulent and thick. Small white flowers can be tinged with blue or pink.
Close up of smartweed flowers.


Swamp Smartweed: Swamp smartweed has sword shaped leaves and small flowers that grow in clusters at the ends of branches. Flowers are greenish white with pink t...
Close up of salt grass leaves.

Salt Grass

Salt grass has rigid stems and grassy leaves that grow one to six inches long. Tan spikelets hold wide spiky flowers up to three inches long.
Reed mannagrass in a field.

Reed Mannagrass

Reed mannagrass has light green stems that can be more than eight feet tall. Rough leaves are angled out of the stem and grow nearly two inches wide.
Reed canarygrass in a field.

Reed Canarygrass

Reed canarygrass has tall round stems with alternate leaves that are tapered. Straw colored seed heads grow at the tops of the stems.
Pond sedge in groups growing out of the water.

Pond Sedges

Pond sedges grow six inches to four feet tall. Leaves have pointed tips and sometimes bend over. Flower spikelets grow in a spiral and are usually brown.
Close up of common pennywort leaves.

Water Pennyworts

Water pennyworts have long thin stems, long thin leaf stalks, and leathery bright green leaves that are mostly circular with frilly edges.
Large cluster of panic grass.

Panic Grass

Panic Grass: Grass like leaves are linear and flat or folded, growing two to six feet tall. Branching flowers grow in clusters and look brownish.   M...
Mud plantain in the water.

Mud Plantain

Mud plantain’s stems and leaves emerge; leaves are sword or egg shaped and leathery. Flowers have five thin petals and are usually purplish blue.
Close up of marsh dewflower.

Marsh Dewflower

Marsh dewflower has round stems, lance shaped leaves, and flowers with three petals that are pinkish purple on the edges and white in the center.
Horsetail stems close up.


Woody cylindrical stems stand alone with nodes every four to six inches that have blackish rings. Horsetail can grow up to nine feet tall.
Giant reed in large group.

Giant Reed

Giant reed has thick round stems that grow in large clumps and can be six to 18 feet tall. Alternate leaves grow up to two feet long.
Flowering rush flowers, some buds, some open, some spent, on a single plant.

Flowering Rush

Flowering rush can be submersed or emersed and has round stems that can grow up to four feet tall. Clusters of pink flowers grow on a single stalk.
European water chestnut in shallow water.

European Water Chestnut Plant

European water chestnut leaves form rosettes on the water as they float. Each floating leaf is triangular shaped with saw-tooth margins.
Crested floating heart flowers and leaves.

Crested Floating Heart

Crested floating heart has heart shaped leaves eight inches long and six inches wide and showy flowers with frilly white petals and yellow centers.
Cordgrass cluster in sand.


Cordgrass has hollow stems grouped together up to eight feet tall. Leaves are spine like and clustered flowers branch loosely.