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Invasive Species: Curly-Leaf Pondweed

Curly-leaf Pondweed

(Potamogeton crispus)
*Detected in Michigan*


Report this species:

Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool.

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone



  • Leaves are dark green with wavy, serrated margins.
  • Submersed, perennial herb with thick roots.
  • Can reach 2 meters in length.
  • Flowering spike grows above water’s surface.
  • Starts growing in fall and winter, flowers in late spring, dies in late July.

 curly pondweed
Photo courtesy of Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

curly pondweed
Photo courtesy of Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan,

Habitat: Curly-leaf pondweed inhabits ponds, lakes, and slow moving streams. Brackish, alkaline or eutrophic conditions less than 3 meters in depth are preferable, although it can grow in waters up to 12 meters deep.

Native Range: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia.

U.S. Distribution: Unfortunately, curly-leaf pondweed has established itself in all of the continental U.S. except for Maine and South Carolina.

Local Concern: As with many invasive species, curly-leaf pondweed out-competes native aquatic plant species and reduces diversity. Dense colonies can hinder fish movement as well as recreational activity.


Curly-leaf Pondweed Invasive Species Alert - Printable PDF

Status and Strategy for Curly-leafed Pondweed Management This document provides in-depth information about curly-leafed pondweed in Michigan including identification, distribution, management and control options.

MDARD Weed Risk Assessment for Curly-leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) - This document evaluates the invasive potential of the plant species using information based on establishment, spread and potential to cause harm.