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Shining Pondweed

Potamogeton lucens

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Potamogetonaceae (Pondweed)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
90 centimetres long
Ditches, gardens, ponds, water.

Green, 4 petals
Green flower spikes on short stalks. The flower spikes are thickened at the top.
Globular fruits, up to 3mm across.
An aquatic perennial with broad, wavy, lanceolate, net-veined leaves. Stalked or very short-stalked. All of the leaves are submerged. No floating leaves. Mainly found in lowland, limy waters.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Potamogeton lucens, also known as shining pondweed, is a perennial aquatic plant that is native to North America. It is commonly found in freshwater ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams. The leaves are long, thin, and typically float on the water's surface, they are lanceolate in shape, with smooth edges and have a glossy appearance, giving the plant its common name. The stems are long, thin, and anchored to the bottom by rhizomes. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, and arranged in spikes at the top of the stem. They typically bloom in late spring to early summer. It is an important food source for waterfowl and aquatic animals, and it also provides cover and habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms. It's considered a good oxygenator for the aquatic ecosystem and it's also used as an ornamental plant in water gardens and ponds.


Shining Pondweed, also known by its scientific name Potamogeton lucens, is a species of aquatic plant that belongs to the Potamogetonaceae family. This plant is found in various regions across the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America. It is typically found in freshwater environments, such as lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams.


Shining Pondweed is a perennial plant that grows underwater, with long, slender stems that can reach up to one meter in length. The leaves of the plant are oval-shaped, measuring up to 5 cm in length and 3 cm in width. The leaves are arranged alternately along the stem and have a bright green color, which gives the plant its name. The stem of the plant is also green and can be either smooth or slightly rough to the touch.


Shining Pondweed is a freshwater plant and is commonly found in ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams. It prefers shallow water with a soft, muddy bottom and is often found growing in dense patches. The plant is also capable of growing in brackish water, making it a versatile species that can thrive in a range of different environments.

Ecological Importance

Shining Pondweed plays an important role in freshwater ecosystems. The plant provides a habitat for a range of aquatic animals, including fish, insects, and amphibians. It also helps to improve water quality by filtering out pollutants and excess nutrients from the water. Additionally, the plant helps to stabilize the shoreline and prevent erosion, which is particularly important in areas that are prone to flooding.

Cultural Significance

Shining Pondweed has been used for a variety of purposes throughout history. In some cultures, the plant was used for medicinal purposes, with the leaves and stems being used to treat a range of ailments, including fever, stomach problems, and respiratory issues. The plant was also used for food, with the leaves and stems being consumed raw or cooked.

Conservation Status

While Shining Pondweed is a widespread species, it is facing a range of threats that are impacting its populations in some areas. Habitat loss and degradation, as a result of factors such as pollution, dredging, and the construction of dams and other infrastructure, are some of the biggest threats to the species. Climate change is also expected to have an impact on the plant's distribution and survival. In some regions, the plant is considered a threatened or endangered species and is protected by law.

Shining Pondweed is an important freshwater plant that plays a critical role in maintaining the health and biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems. While the plant is facing a range of threats, efforts to protect and conserve its habitat can help to ensure that it continues to thrive in the future.

Aquatic Ecosystems

Shining Pondweed is also known for its ability to grow rapidly, making it a valuable species for use in aquatic restoration projects. Its dense growth can help to prevent the establishment of invasive species, and its ability to filter out pollutants and excess nutrients from the water can improve the overall health of aquatic ecosystems.

30 Facts about Shining Pondweed

  1. Potamogeton lucens is commonly known as Shining Pondweed, or just Pondweed.

  2. It is an aquatic plant that grows in slow-moving or still water bodies such as lakes, ponds, and streams.

  3. The plant is native to Europe, but it has been introduced to many other parts of the world, including North America, Asia, and Africa.

  4. Shining Pondweed is a submerged plant, with leaves that grow up to 10 cm long and 2 cm wide.

  5. The leaves are dark green in color and have a shiny, waxy surface.

  6. The plant has a slender stem that can grow up to 2 meters in length.

  7. The stem can be branched or unbranched, and it is flexible and can sway with the water currents.

  8. Shining Pondweed is a perennial plant, which means it lives for more than one year.

  9. The plant reproduces both sexually and asexually.

  10. It can produce seeds that are dispersed by water currents, or it can spread by vegetative propagation.

  11. Shining Pondweed can form dense underwater meadows, providing habitat for a variety of aquatic organisms.

  12. It is an important food source for waterfowl, such as ducks and geese, and for fish.

  13. The plant can also provide cover for fish and other aquatic animals.

  14. Shining Pondweed is tolerant of a range of water conditions, including varying water levels, temperatures, and water quality.

  15. It prefers clear, alkaline water, but it can also grow in slightly acidic conditions.

  16. The plant is sensitive to pollution and changes in water quality, and it can be an indicator of water quality.

  17. Shining Pondweed is an important plant in aquatic ecosystems, as it can absorb nutrients and pollutants from the water.

  18. It is used in the treatment of wastewater and in the restoration of degraded water bodies.

  19. The plant has also been used in traditional medicine for its diuretic and laxative properties.

  20. Shining Pondweed is an easy plant to grow and is often used in aquariums and water gardens.

  21. It can be propagated from cuttings or from seeds.

  22. The plant is not considered invasive, but it can form dense mats that can impede the movement of boats and other watercraft.

  23. It can also interfere with recreational activities such as swimming and fishing.

  24. Shining Pondweed can be controlled through physical removal, herbicides, or the introduction of natural predators.

  25. The plant is not toxic to humans or animals, and it is not known to have any negative effects on human health.

  26. In some cultures, Shining Pondweed is considered a symbol of peace and tranquility.

  27. The plant has been used in literature and poetry to symbolize the beauty and serenity of nature.

  28. Shining Pondweed is a popular subject for nature photographers, who capture the plant's beauty and grace underwater.

  29. The plant is also the subject of scientific research, as scientists study its role in aquatic ecosystems and its potential for use in wastewater treatment.

  30. Shining Pondweed is an important plant in aquatic ecosystems, providing habitat, food, and ecological services, and is an important cultural and scientific resource.

Shining Pondweed, or Potamogeton lucens, is an aquatic plant that grows in slow-moving or still water bodies. It is native to Europe but has been introduced to many other parts of the world. Shining Pondweed is an important plant in aquatic ecosystems, providing habitat, food, and ecological services. It is tolerant of a range of water conditions and is used in the treatment of wastewater and in the restoration of degraded water bodies.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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