Small (or smaller) pondweed

My photo shows some shoots of one of the fine-leaved pondweeds (it’s either small pondweed Potamogeton berchtoldii or least pondweed Potamogeton pusillus). It’s the thing with the long narrow leaves. I’m quite surprised to see it come up here on the edge of the crowfoot bed. These species both do best in disturbed muddy habitats such as ditches or stock watering ponds and so are not ideal candidates for garden ponds. I had a small patch struggling along at the margin for quite a while, but it was killed off by the drought – or so I thought. It now seems that it has spread either by seed or turions and has been stimulated to grow by rising water levels. [Turions are the resting bodies of waterplants]. Jeremy Biggs has got it growing well in his Oxford pond, but that’s quite early succession. I wonder if it needs a certain amount of disturbance – such as was provided by the drought – to keep going?

Small pondweed and least pondweed are two very similar species that differ in some minor botanical details. One day I’ll get around to identifying it properly.

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