Aquatic Plants

Aquatic Plants - Water Lillies Photo

Aquatic Plant

Vegetation that lives in or near the water or in wet soil conditions.

  • Submersed plants grow entirely or almost entirely underwater. They provides food and habitat for wildlife populations (fish, waterfowl, invertebrates), and can increase water clarity, stabilize shorelines and sediments, and increase or decrease dissolved oxygen concentrations [Plant Management].

    Submersed Examples: Bladderworts (eastern purple bladderwort and little floating bladderwort); Pondweeds (clasping leaf pondweed, longleaf pondweed, Richardson's pondweed, sago pondweed, waterthread pondweed); awl leaf arrowhead, baby's tears, bog moss, coontail, elodea, fanwort, musk grass, red ludwigia, southern naiad, strap-leaf sagittaria, tape grass, and two-leaf water milfoil [UF/IFAS, Center].
  • Emersed plants are plants that grow out of the water, and are rooted to the bottom, but their stems, leaves and flowers are above the water. Some emersed plants have no particular stems - just leaves reaching for the sky [Plant Management].


    Emersed Examples: Arrowheads (awl leaf arrowhead, broadleaf arrowhead, duck potato, grassy arrowhead, Sagittaria filiformis, strap-leaf sagittaria); Primrose Willows (Anglestem primrose willow, marsh seed box, piedmont primrose willow, red ludwigia, and shrubby primrose willow); American lotus, arrow arum, blue flag, bog buttons, bur-marigold, cattails, creeping burhead, fire flag, Florida water cress, golden canna, golden club, golden crest, hatpins, knotwood/smartweed, lake hygrophila, lemon bacopa, lizard's tail, mermaid weed, perennial glasswort, pickerelweed, redroot, smooth water hyssop, spatterdock/cow lily, swamp lily, Virginia buttonweed, water cress, water pennywort, water pod, and waterspider orchid [UF/IFAS, Center].

  • Floating and floating-leaved plants are those that may or may not be anchored to the sediment (they may be rooted to the bottom or may be free-floating), but they all have leaves that float on the water's surface. [Plant Management].

    Floating Examples: Duckweeds (giant duckweed, mud-midget, small duckweed, and water meal); Floating-Hearts (banana lily); Pondweeds (clasping leaf pondweed, long leaf pond weed, Richardson's pondweed, sago pondweed, waterthread pondweed, and small pondweed); Carolina mosquito fern, cow lily, frog's bit, Sagittaria filiformis, water lily, water shield, water pennywort, and yellow water lily [UF/IFAS, Center].
Aquatic, Wetland and Invasive Plant Particulars and Photographs (use of names, not photographs).
Plant Management in Florida Waters.
Photos: Courtesy of S. Peregrine Johnson.