Potamogeton sulcatus A.Benn.

Ann. K. K. Naturhist. Hofmus. 7: 294 (1892) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Native

Emergent herb; stem trailing; branches flattened, up to c. 3 m long. Leaf sheath free, up to 4 cm long, soon torn; ligule absent. Submerged leaves different from emergent ones. Submerged leaves thin and translucent, shortly petiolate; lamina lanceolate to elliptic, 6–12 cm long, 1.2–3.0 cm wide; base rounded to gradually tapered; margin flat or slightly undulate; apex acute to obtuse; 9–13 principal longitudinal veins, with finer transverse secondary veins; distal submerged leaves more like emergent leaves, but with petiole much longer than for emergent leaves. Emergent leaves floating, ± thick and leathery, petiolate; lamina ovate to elliptic, 4–8 cm long, 3.0–5.5 cm wide, dull; base rounded or cordate; apex obtuse; margin undulate, at least at base; 21–35 principal longitudinal veins, with transverse secondary veins indistinct. Inflorescence c. 20–60 flowered. Infructescence 3.2–5.0 cm long (excluding non-fruiting part of axis). Fruiting carpels 3.0–3.5 mm long (including dorsal point), dorsal surface with 3 well developed, crenulate ridges, distally with a ± curved point up to c. 1.2 mm long. Flowers and fruits Sep.–Apr.

CVU, EGL, GipP, HNF, MuF, MuM, MSB, NIS, OtP, RobP, Strz, VAlp, VRiv, VVP, WPro, Wim. Occurs creeks, lagoons and irrigation channels, particularly in the Murray-Darling River system where it is frequently a serious aquatic weed.

In Victoria, P. sulcatus and P. cheesemanii were previously treated together in a heterogeneous P. tricarinatus species complex. These 3 species have similarly dimorphic submerged and emergent leaves. However, P. tricarinatus does not occur in Victoria. This species is distinguished from Victorian material by the carpels having a prominently tuberculate keel. Potamogeton sulcatus was previously treated in Victoria as P. tricarinatus Form I, it is distinguished from P. cheesemanii by the much larger, denser infructescences, larger, more prominently 3-ridged carpels, and larger leaves.   

Created by: Andre Messina, 2014-08-04
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 sulcatus in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Potamogeton sulcatus in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present native
Wimmera 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
Central Victorian Uplands present native
Northern Inland Slopes present native
East Gippsland Lowlands present native
Wilsons Promontory present native
Highlands-Northern Fall present native
Strzelecki Ranges present native
Victorian Alps present native