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

Potamogeton natans L.
floating-leaved pondweed (floating pondweed)
Potamogetonaceae (Horned pondweed family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #4260)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Potamogeton natans
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend
Details about map content are available here
Click on the map dots to view record details.

Species Information

Click on the image below to view an expanded illustration for this species.

Perennial, aquatic herb from strong rhizomes; stems up to 200 cm long, unbranched.
Submersed leaves reduced to narrow, firm, dark green cylindrical stalks without blades, growing from the main stem, 10-20 cm long, the stipules 4-9 cm long, fibrous; floating leaves egg-shaped, 3-10 cm long, 2.5-6 cm wide, the larger ones with (18) 20 to 35 veins, leathery, long-stalked, the tips rounded, notched at the bases.
Inflorescence spikelike, the spikes with 6 to10 whorls of flowers, the stalks thick.
Achenes, broadly egg-shaped, 3.5-5 mm long, 2.5-3.5 mm wide, the beaks cylindrical, the keels obscure, developed in the upper half of achenes.
Stem anatomical characters Interlacunar bundles present throughout the stem aerenchyma in several circles, subepidermal bundles present, pseudohypodermis 1-cell thick, endodermis of U-cells.

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

Lakes and ponds from the lowland and steppe to subalpine zones; common throughout BC; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, NC, OH, IN, IL, IA, OK, NM, UT, AZ and CA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Potamogeton natans

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) 15 754 1232
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 30
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
130 130 130
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 7 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: CDF(2), CWH(9), ICH(6), IDF(4), MS(1), PP(1), SBPS(6), SBS(15)


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.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References