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Native(?) plant ID
On Friday I spent a few hours canoeing the Concho River below San Angelo,
Tx. Studying aquatic plants wasn't the main point to the trip (nor was
recreation), but it was an interesting diversion from a mostly
unsuccessful project. I found a plant growing there that I hope someone
might recognize. I wish I could provide a better description, but
everytime we got close enough to get a good look at this plant, the canoe
grounded and I found myself worrying about other things.
The plant was growing exclusively in shallow, unshaded, fairly still
water, mostly over rocky bottoms. Perhaps in less murky water it would
grow deeper and/or in muddy bottoms. I never saw it growing up on the
At first glance the plant reminded me very much of Heteranthera
zosterifolia. It was a light green stem plant with 2-3 inch long with
gradually tapering leaves usually less than 5 mm wide. The leaves were
alternate-opposed, or possibly in pairs (memory fails me), I seem to
remember that the leaves had sheaths at their base - the base of the
leaf wrapped around the stem. There was no petiole.
The plants grew to the water surface, but did not stand out of the water.
It put up a single bright-yellow flower on a thin stem. The flower stood
a couple inches out of the water and was about a centimeter across. I
remember 3 or 4 round petals and a I think I saw a lot of short,
cream-colored stamens clustered around the center of the flower.
It looked like a plant with some potential for a brightly lit tank.
Incidentally, there were a lot of different aquatic and semi-aquatic
plants along the river, including hydrocotyle vulgaris (which never grew
submersed), something that looked like a myriophyllum, several kinds of
hair grass and some other interesting plants that I couldn't identify.
One unavoidable observation was that the plants almost always grew in
single-species stands. Aquatic plants in nature don't seem to care much