Elodea Plant Views
Elodea is a rooted multi-branched perennial plant but can survive and grow as floating fragments. The dark green blade-like leaves (3/5 inch long and 1/5 inch wide) are in whorls of three with finely toothed margins. The flowers of Elodea have three white petals with a waxy coating that makes them float.
Submerged portions of all aquatic plants provide habitats for many micro and macro invertebrates. These invertebrates in turn are used as food by fish and other wildlife species (e.g. amphibians, reptiles, ducks, etc.). After aquatic plants die, their decomposition by bacteria and fungi provides food (called B“detritus/”) for many aquatic invertebrates. Elodea has no known direct food value to wildlife but is used extensively by insects and invertebrates.
Elodea is a genus of aquatic plants often called the waterweeds. Elodea is native to North America and is also widely used as aquarium vegetation. The introduction of some species of Elodea into waterways in parts of Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia, and New Zealand has created a significant problem and it is now considered a noxious weed in these areas. An older name for this genus is Anacharis, which serves as a common name in North America.
Elodea canadensis, sometimes called American or Canadian water weed or pond weed, is widely known as the generic water weed. The use of these names causes it to be confused with similar-looking plants, like Brazilian elodea (Egeria densa) or hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata). American water weed is an attractive aquarium plant and is a good substitute for Brazilian elodea. It can be used for science experiments in classrooms demonstrating how plants use carbon dioxide with the usage of bromothymol blue.