Potamogeton crispus L.

Curly Pondweed

Sp. Pl. 126 (1753) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Submerged herb, with branches flattened, up to at least 4 m long. Leaf sheath free, up to 0.5 cm long; ligule absent. Leaves sessile; lamina narrowly ovate to narrowly oblong, 2.5–5(–7) cm long, 0.5–1(–1.5) cm wide, thin and translucent; base obtuse to rounded; margin serrulate, undulate to strongly crisped; apex obtuse; (3 or)5 principal longitudinal veins, without fine secondary longitudinal veins; leaves sometimes considerably reduced to form scales of the 'winter buds'; winter buds clustered on distal ends of branches. Inflorescence 3–14-flowered. Infructescence 0.8–1.5(–2) cm long. Fruiting carpels 5–7 mm long (including distal point), basally with a ± crenulate dorsal keel and with smooth to strongly tuberculate sides, distally with a conspicuous, thick, tapered, straight or ±curved point c. 2 mm long. Flowers and fruits Nov.–May.

CVU, DunT, EGL, EGU, GipP, Gold, GGr, HNF, HSF, MuF, MuM, MSB, NIS, OtP, RobP, Strz, VRiv, VVP, WaP. All States. Europe, Asia, eastern and southern Africa, introduced in North America and New Zealand. Occurs in still to strongly flowing fresh water in lagoons, creeks and rivers, on muddy, sandy, or stony substrates.

Aston (1973) points out that care should be exercised in distinguishing new, vegetative growth of this species from Potamogeton ochreatus; the venation should always be examined. The leaves of P. ochreatus always have numerous fine longitudinal veins, whereas these fine secondary veins are absent in P. crispus. Very young material of P. crispus usually lack leaf undulations and have linear leaves with minute teeth which are only visible under higher magnification.

Source: Conn, B.J. (1994). Potamogetonaceae (including Ruppiaceae). In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Val Stajsic, 2020-02-11

Aston, H.I. (1973). Aquatic plants of Australia, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.

Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Alismatales
genus Potamogeton
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Potamogeton crispus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Potamogeton crispus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Victorian Volcanic Plain present native
Victorian Riverina present native
Murray Scroll Belt present native
Robinvale Plains present native
Murray Fans present native
Gippsland Plain present native
Otway Plain present native
Warrnambool Plain present native
Goldfields present native
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Greater Grampians present native
Dundas Tablelands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
East Gippsland Uplands present native
Highlands-Southern Fall present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory