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

Elodea canadensis Michx.
Canadian waterweed
Hydrocharitaceae (Tape-grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14142)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Elodea canadensis
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Species Information

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Perennial aquatic herb from a fibrous root; flowering stems several, branched at the nodes.
Stem leaves in whorls of 3 or the lowest opposite, broadly lanceolate to oblong or egg-shaped, rounded at the tips, 6-17 mm long, 1-4 mm wide, minutely sharp-toothed.
Inflorescence of either male or female, axillary, long-stalked, solitary flowers; petals 3, white, lanceolate, 4.5-5 mm long (male) or, 2-3 mm long (female); sepals 3, greenish, elliptic, 3.5-5 mm long (male) or 2-3 mm long (female); stamens 9.
Capsules, cylindric or egg-shaped, about 6 mm long; seeds several, 4-5 mm long, smooth.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

Lakes, ponds, streams and ditches in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent in S BC south of 51degreeN, infrequent northward; E to PQ and NS and S to MA, PA, SC, FL, MS, TX, NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Elodea canadensis

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) 20 20 20
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: CDF(2), CWH(6)


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

Anacharis canadensis (Michx.) Planch.
Anacharis canadensis var. planchonii (Caspary) Victorin
Elodea brandegeeae H. St. John
Elodea ioensis Wylie
Elodea linearis (Rydb.) H. St. John
Elodea planchonii Caspary
Philotria canadensis (Michx.) Britt.
Philotria linearis Rydb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References