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

Vallisneria americana Michx.
American tapegrass (American eelgrass)
Hydrocharitaceae (Tape-grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #21259)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Vallisneria americana
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Species Information

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Perennial aquatic herb from a fibrous root and rhizomes; flowering stems several, arising from the base of the plant to the water surface, tending to be coiled, the female ones 1-2 m long.
Basal leaves linear, 10-200 cm long, 1-10 mm wide, entire to minutely toothed, thin, longitudinally veined, the crosswalls often reddish, the tips rounded or abruptly pointed; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence of either numerous, nearly unstalked, axillary, male flowers or solitary, long-stalked, axillary female flowers; petals either 1, white, elliptic, about 1 mm long (male) or 3, about 0.5 mm long (female); sepals 3, greenish, broadly lanceolate, unequal, 0.5-0.8 mm long (male) or 5-6 mm long (female); stamens 2.
Capsules, cylindric, 5-10 cm long; seeds small, numerous.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Blooming Period:
Mid Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Green
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Lakes, ponds and streams in the lowland and montane zones; rare in SW and SC BC; introduced from E North America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Vallisneria americana

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) 390 390 390
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]
7 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: CWH(1), ICH(1)


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

Vallisneria asiatica Michx.
Vallisneria neotropicalis Victorin
Vallisneria spiralis var. asiatica (Michx.) Torr.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References