E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Potamogeton epihydrus Raf.
ribbon-leaf pondweed (ribbonleaf pondweed)
Potamogetonaceae (Horned pondweed family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14161)

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Distribution of Potamogeton epihydrus
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Species Information

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Perennial, aquatic or semi-terrestrial herb from strong rhizomes; stems up to 100 cm long, flattened, compressed, usually not branched.
Submersed leaves ribbon-like, thin, the sides parallel, whitish-green, 1-20 cm long, 3-7 mm wide, unstalked, the tips pointed, with broad translucent bands along the midveins (totalling about 1/3 of the leaf width) and with 3 to 13 veins, the stipules 0.5-3 cm long, inconspicuous; floating leaves 1-7 cm long, 0.5-2 cm wide, leathery, long-stalked, lanceolate to elliptic, the tips pointed, tapering at the bases.
Inflorescence spikelike, the spikes 2-4 cm long, with 5 to 12 whorls of flowers, the stalks thin.
Achenes, almost globe-shaped, 2.5-4.5 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, flattened, beakless, the keels pronounced, winged.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Peaty lakes, ditches and ponds from the lowland and steppe to subalpine zones; common in coastal BC, infrequent E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK, disjunct E from SK to NF and S to ME, PA, NC, GA, AL, MS, LA, SD, CO, UT, NV and CA; in Europe only at Outer Hebrides.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Potamogeton epihydrus

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 853 853 853
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 0
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
8 8 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: SBPS(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Potamogeton epihydrus subsp. nuttallii (Cham. & Schltdl.) Calder & Roy L. Taylor
Potamogeton epihydrus var. nuttallii (Cham. & Schltdl.) Fernald
Potamogeton epihydrus var. ramosus (Peck) House
Potamogeton nuttallii

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References