Submerged Plants

Submerged plants are rooted plants with flaccid or limp stems and most of their vegetative mass is below the water surface, although small portions may stick above the water.


Some Types of Submerged Plants

American Pondweed

American Pondweed is a perennial plant that has both floating and a few submerged leaves in an alternate pattern.  The floating leaves are elliptical to oval, 4-7in long and 1-2in wide on long petioles. It can be found in streams and lakes.

Baby Pondweed

Baby Pondweed can be found in neutral or slightly alkaline or brackish water of ponds and rivers, often forming large masses.

Baby Tears

Baby’s tears are a small, creeping plant which is usually completely submersed.  It grows along slow-moving streams, rivers, and shallow pools. Leaves are thin, small, light green and nearly round. Baby’s tears are native to Florida.


Bacopa caroliniana is an emersed plant. This small sprawling herb is common in fresh and brackish waters. At least three species of bacopa are native to Florida and are distributed throughout much of the state.


Bladderwort is a submersed floating plant with no roots and native to Florida.


Bogmoss is native to Florida.  Stems are typically several feet long, leaves are soft and mossy, densely crowded.

Brittle (Marine) Naiad

Brittle Naiad (Marine Naiad) are herbaceous annual, rooted and submersed, with a bushy appearance found in fresh or brackish waters; mostly lakes and ponds.  The leaves have visible serrations and are long, pointed, and oppositely arranged on highly branched stems.

Bushy Souther Naiad

Bushy Pondweed (Southern Naiad) has dense, abundant branches, deep green or purple leaves and a substantial root system. Dense areas can deplete dissolved oxygen and contribute to fish kills. It is found in springs, fresh and brackish lakes, ponds, and canals.


Coontail, aka hornwort, is native to Florida. The leaves are free floating feathery and fan shaped that are rough to the touch and found in sluggish waters.

East Indian Hygrophila

East Indian hygrophila is non-native to Florida and is on the noxious and prohibited lists.  It is mostly submersed with a few inches sometimes immersed above the water. Stems are square and grow to six feet long under water.  Can be found in steams and slow moving waters.


Elodea, native to Florida, but rare.  Blooms in the spring.


Water Shield (Fanwort)

Fanwort, aka Water Shield, has narrow diamond shaped floating leaves while the submersed leaves are shaped like a fan and frilly.  It is frequently found in ponds, lakes, and quiet streams.


Hydrilla is non-native to Florida and is on the noxious and prohibited lists.  Submersed but can grow to the surface and form dense mats. Found in all types of water bodies. Stems are slender and branch up to 25 feet long with small strap-like and pointed leaves.

Illinois Pondweed

Illinois pondweed is native to Florida with both submersed and floating leaves. Grows in shallow or deep waters, swift-flowing rivers or quiet lakes. Leaves are elliptic shaped and longer than they are wide.


Limnophila is non-native to Florida and is on the noxious and prohibited lists. It has submersed and emersed leaves. May form in dense stands from bottom to the top of freshwater.

Parrot Feather

Parrot feather found in fresh waters is non-native to Florida and is on the noxious and prohibited lists. Leaves are feathery, blue-green, arranged in whorls of 4-6 leaves about the stem and can grow 5 feet long.