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

Stuckenia filiformis (Pers.) Börner
slender-leaved pondweed (fineleaf pondweed)
Potamogetonaceae (Horned pondweed family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #25129)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Stuckenia filiformis
Click here to view our 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 long rhizomes; stems 10-100 cm long, up to 1 mm in diameter, profusely branched at the base.
All submersed, linear, thread-like, 5-10 cm long, 0.2-1.5 mm wide, with 1 vein, thin, green, the tips rounded to blunt, the stipules 0.5-1 cm long, fused, forming a tight sheath around the stem, the leaf blades arising close to the tips of the sheaths.
Inflorescence spikelike, the spikes 1.5-2.5 cm long, interrupted, with 2-8 whorls of flowers, the stalks thin.
Achenes, almost globe-shaped, 2-3 mm long, 1.5-2.4 mm wide, widest above the middle, the beaks and keels absent, the surface with fine, ray-like grooves.
Two subspecies occur in British Columbia. In addition, a third one (ssp. filiformis) can be expected in N BC.

1. Stems 20-100 cm long; stipules inflated at the base, especially in the leaves lower on the stem, disintegrated with age....................ssp. occidentalis (J.W. Robbins) Haynes, D.H. Les, & M. Kral

1. Stems 10-30 cm long; stipules tightly clasping the stem, persistent.

2. Flowers and fruits in whorls less than 4 cm apart; leaves 0.5-1 mm wide....................ssp. alpina (J.W. Robbins) Haynes, D.H. Les, & M. Kral

2. Flowers and fruits in whorls 4 cm or more apart; leaves 0.2-0.5 mm wide....................ssp. filiformis

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Calcium-rich lakes in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, rare along the coast; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, MI, WI, IA, NE, NM, AZ and CA; Eurasia, Australia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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 filiformis

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References