Coontail – Ceratophyllum demersum
This plant is also known as hornwort. Coontail is a submersed, perennial herb. Two species are native to Florida. Having no roots, coontail is free-floating. It grows in sluggish waters throughout the state, and sometimes blooms year-round. Because its feathery leaves are arranged in whorls on the stem, this plant resembles a raccoon’s tail. The feathery, fan-shaped leaves of coontail are best observed in the water. They look feathery because each leaf is divided into many narrow segments. The leaves also have several small teeth, which are found on the midribs. These tiny teeth give the plant a rough feel, when pulled through the hand. Coontail’s flowers are very small, and grow at the base of the leaf. Though rarely seen, the flowers occur annually.
- Coontail is rootless and free-floating.
- It has feathery, fan-shaped leaves that are arranged in whorls on the stem.
- Its very small flowers grow at the leaf bases.
- Coontail is rough to the touch.
Coontail may be confused with fanwort, Cabomba caroliniana.
For brief control information, see Efficacy of Herbicide Active Ingredients Against Aquatic Weeds by K. Langeland, M. Netherland, and W. Haller.