Eel grass, tape grass

Vallisneria americana -- Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Vallisneria americana

Native in Florida


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    Eel grass is a submersed plant that spreads by runners and sometimes forms tall underwater meadows and is commonly found growing in lakes and streams nearly throughout Florida (Wunderlin, 2003). Vallisneria americana blooms all year and occurs almost always (estimated probability 99%) under natural conditions in wetlands.

    Eel grass leaves arise in clusters from their roots. They are about one inch wide and can be several feet long. The leaves have rounded tips, and definite raised veins. Single white female flowers grow to the water surface on very long stalks. Eel grass fruit is a banana-like capsule having many tiny seeds.

    Vallisneria americana may be confused with strap-leaf sagittaria, Sagittaria kurziana. Compare the leaf tips and the leaf veins.