Weed Identification Guide

ponds and lakes


Algae is a common nuisance with no defined root system. It often floats on the pond's surface in mats, although it may emerge at the pond's bottom before floating to the surface. Chara looks like submerged weed but can be differentiated by its musky smell.

Emergent Weeds

Emergent weeds are rooted plants that grow along the shoreline and stand above the surface or in shallow areas. A defining characteristic of emergent weeds is the stem, which is most often stiff or firm.

Floating Weeds

Generally found in shallow water, the stem & root system of a floating weed may start at the pond's bottom, although not always. Foliage will be seen floating on the water's surface. If left untreated, they can completely cover cutting off light and oxygen to the fish below.

Submerged Weeds

The "iceberg" of weeds is mostly submerged underwater. One discerning characteristic is their soft stem, which is why they usually do not rise above the water's surface.