Open the Advanced Search

Blunt-leaved Pondweed

Potamogeton obtusifolius

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

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

Green, 4 petals
Flower spike, usually with 3 whorls of flowers.
The fruit is globular and greenish-brown.
Flat, reddish-green, 5-veined, strap-like leaves, measuring up to 4 inches long. All leaves are submerged. There are no floating leaves. Leaves are stalkless and not clasping their stems.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Potamogeton obtusifolius, also known as blunt-leaved 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 blunt tips. 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.


Blunt-leaved Pondweed, or Potamogeton obtusifolius, is an aquatic plant that is native to Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. It is a perennial plant that grows in freshwater habitats such as lakes, ponds, and slow-moving rivers. This plant is often found growing in large beds, and can be a dominant species in some areas.

Physical Characteristics of Blunt-leaved Pondweed

Blunt-leaved Pondweed has a characteristic appearance that makes it easy to identify. The plant has long, ribbon-like leaves that grow up to 20 cm in length. The leaves are green and have a rounded tip, which is where the plant gets its name from. The stems of the plant can grow up to 1 meter in length, and the flowers are small and green.

Habitat and Distribution of Blunt-leaved Pondweed

Blunt-leaved Pondweed can be found in a variety of freshwater habitats. It is commonly found in lakes and ponds, but can also be found in slow-moving rivers and streams. This plant prefers to grow in areas with sandy or muddy substrates, and can tolerate a range of water depths.

Blunt-leaved Pondweed is native to Europe, Asia, and parts of Africa. It has also been introduced to North America, where it is now considered an invasive species in some areas.

Ecological Importance of Blunt-leaved Pondweed

Blunt-leaved Pondweed plays an important role in freshwater ecosystems. The plant provides habitat for a variety of aquatic organisms, including fish, invertebrates, and amphibians. The dense beds of Pondweed also provide cover for small fish and other organisms, helping to protect them from predators.

Blunt-leaved Pondweed is also important for maintaining water quality. The plant absorbs nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus from the water, which can help to prevent eutrophication (an overgrowth of algae due to excess nutrients).

Conservation and Management of Blunt-leaved Pondweed

Although Blunt-leaved Pondweed is not considered a threatened species, it is important to manage its growth in some areas. Invasive populations of Pondweed can disrupt natural ecosystems and have negative impacts on biodiversity.

There are several management strategies that can be used to control the growth of Blunt-leaved Pondweed. Physical removal of the plant can be effective, but must be done carefully to avoid damaging the surrounding ecosystem. Chemical treatments can also be used, but must be applied carefully to avoid harming non-target organisms.

Blunt-leaved Pondweed is an important aquatic plant that plays a vital role in freshwater ecosystems. While it is not considered a threatened species, it is important to manage its growth in some areas to prevent negative impacts on biodiversity. By understanding the ecological importance of this plant, we can work to protect and preserve our freshwater habitats for future generations.

More Information

Blunt-leaved Pondweed is a valuable food source for waterfowl, including ducks and geese. The seeds and leaves are an important part of their diet, especially during the fall and winter months when other food sources may be scarce.

In addition to its ecological importance, Blunt-leaved Pondweed has also been used for medicinal purposes. The plant contains compounds that have been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, and has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including infections and digestive disorders.

Blunt-leaved Pondweed has also been used for recreational purposes, such as fishing and boating. The dense beds of the plant provide cover for fish, making it an attractive spot for anglers. The plant can also help to reduce erosion along shorelines, making it a popular choice for erosion control.

Blunt-leaved Pondweed is known to be a pioneer species, meaning that it is often one of the first plants to colonize disturbed or newly formed aquatic habitats. Its ability to quickly establish itself in these areas makes it an important species for habitat restoration and rehabilitation projects.

In some parts of the world, Blunt-leaved Pondweed has been cultivated for use in aquaculture. The plant is used as a food source for fish and other aquatic organisms, and is also used to help maintain water quality in fish farming operations.

However, Blunt-leaved Pondweed can also have negative impacts on ecosystems when it becomes invasive. Invasive populations can outcompete native aquatic plants, reducing biodiversity and altering the structure and function of aquatic ecosystems. It can also interfere with recreational activities such as swimming and boating.

Overall, the conservation and management of Blunt-leaved Pondweed requires a careful balance between its ecological importance and the potential negative impacts of invasive populations. Through careful management and restoration efforts, we can work to ensure that this valuable species continues to play an important role in freshwater ecosystems for generations to come.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map