Brittle Naiad (Najas minor), also called Brittle Waternymph
Appearance: Submersed aquatic plant.
Leaves: Leaves are opposite (leaves are in pairs along the stem), but leaves sometimes appear to be in a whorl at tip. Leaves are 1 to 2 inches long, toothed, stiff, and pointed.
Flowers: Small and inconspicuous. Found in leaf axils.
Reproduction: Brittle naiad is an annual plant that spreads by seeds and plant fragments. The plant is very brittle so it easily breaks into pieces which can spread the plant to new locations. Seeds mature in summer and late fall. Seeds germinate in the spring.
Note on identification: Brittle naiad can be easily confused with native pondweeds and naiads. Brittle naiad differs from coontail in that brittle naiad leaves are in pairs of two while coontail leaves are in whorls of 4 or 5. See the reporting invasive aquatic plants webpage if you are unsure of identification or wish to report a new location of brittle naiad.