Straight-leaved Pondweed

Potamogeton strictifolius Benn.

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Monocotyledoneae (Monocots)
Potamogetonaceae (Pondweed Family)
State Protection
Listed as Endangered by New York State: in imminent danger of extirpation in New York. For animals, taking, importation, transportation, or possession is prohibited, except under license or permit. For plants, removal or damage without the consent of the landowner is prohibited.
Federal Protection
Not Listed
State Conservation Status Rank
Critically Imperiled in New York - Especially vulnerable to disappearing from New York due to extreme rarity or other factors; typically 5 or fewer populations or locations in New York, very few individuals, very restricted range, very few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or very steep declines.
Global Conservation Status Rank
Secure globally - Common in the world; widespread and abundant (but may be rare in some parts of its range).


State Ranking Justification

There are 2 verified occurrences, 17 historical occurrences.

Conservation and Management



In New York, Potamogeton strictifolius is known from shallow water habitats of both natural and artificial lakes (New York Natural Heritage Program 2011). Alkaline waters (Crow and Hellquist 2001). Alkaline waters of lakes and slow-moving streams (FNA 2000).

Associated Ecological Communities

  • Impounded marsh
    A marsh (with less than 50% cover of trees) in which the water levels have been artificially manipulated or modified, often for the purpose of improving waterfowl habitat.
  • Impounded swamp*
    A swamp (with at least 50% cover of trees) where the water levels have been artificially manipulated or modified, often for the purpose of improving waterfowl habitat. Red maple is a characteristic tree. Often there are many standing dead tree trunks. Purple loosestrife and duckweed may become dominant in the understory.
  • Mesotrophic dimictic lake* (guide)
    The aquatic community of a lake that is intermediate between an oligotrophic lake and a eutrophic lake. These lakes are dimictic: they have two periods of mixing or turnover (spring and fall); they are thermally stratified in the summer, and they freeze over and become inversely stratified in the winter.
  • Reservoir/artificial impoundment*
    The aquatic community of an artificial lake created by the impoundment of a river with a dam. Reservoirs are constructed to collect water for municipal and/or agricultural water use, to provide hydroelectric power, and to improve opportunities for recreational activities (e.g., boating, swimming), and development.

* probable association but not confirmed.

Associated Species

  • Brasenia schreberi (water-shield)
  • Ceratophyllum demersum (common coon-tail)
  • Elodea canadensis (Canada waterweed)
  • Heteranthera dubia (water star-grass)
  • Lemna minor (common duckweed)
  • Lemna trisulca (star duckweed)
  • Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian water milfoil)
  • Najas flexilis (common water-nymph, common naiad)
  • Najas guadalupensis (Guadalupe water-nymph, Guadalupe naiad)
  • Nuphar variegata (common yellow pond-lily, common spatter-dock)
  • Potamogeton crispus (curly pondweed)
  • Potamogeton gramineus (grass-leaved pondweed)
  • Potamogeton natans (floating-leaved pondweed)
  • Potamogeton pusillus (common narrow-leaved pondweed)
  • Potamogeton robbinsii (Robbins's pondweed, fern pondweed)
  • Ruppia maritima (widgeon-grass, ditch-grass)
  • Sagittaria
  • Sparganium
  • Spirodela polyrrhiza
  • Stuckenia pectinata (Sago pondweed)
  • Trapa natans (water-chestnut)
  • Utricularia macrorhiza
  • Vallisneria americana (water-celery, tape-grass)


New York State Distribution

Central and eastern New York. New York is near the eastern edge of its range.

Identification Comments

Identifying Characteristics


Best Time to See

It is best to survey for Northern Pondweed from late July through September, when it is in fruit.

  • Vegetative
  • Fruiting

The time of year you would expect to find Straight-leaved Pondweed vegetative and fruiting in New York.


Straight-leaved Pondweed
Potamogeton strictifolius Benn.

  • Kingdom Plantae
    • Phylum Anthophyta
      • Class Monocotyledoneae (Monocots)
        • Order Najadales
          • Family Potamogetonaceae (Pondweed Family)

Additional Common Names

  • Pondweed


  • Potamogeton pusillus var. pseudorutilus Benn.
  • Potamogeton rutilis auct. non Wulf. ex R. & S.
  • Potamogeton strictifolius var. rutiloides Fern.
  • Potamogeton x longiligulatus

Additional Resources


Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 910 pp.

Hellquist, C.B. and G.E. Crow 1980. Aquatic Vascular Plants of New England: Part 1. Zosteraceae, Potamogetonaceae, Zannichelliaceae, Najadaceae. New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station University of New Hampshire. Station Bull. 515.

Holmgren, Noel. 1998. The Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Mitchell, Richard S. and Gordon C. Tucker. 1997. Revised Checklist of New York State Plants. Contributions to a Flora of New York State. Checklist IV. Bulletin No. 490. New York State Museum. Albany, NY. 400 pp.

New York Natural Heritage Program. 2024. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Albany, NY.

Ogden, E.C. 1974. Anatomical patterns of some aquatic vascular plants of New York. New York State Museum Bull. 424.

Seymour, F.C. 1982. The flora of New England. A manual for the identification of all vascular plants including ferns and fern allies growing without cultivation in New England. Moldenka, Plainfield, New Jersey.

Weldy, T. and D. Werier. 2010. New York flora atlas. [S.M. Landry, K.N. Campbell, and L.D. Mabe (original application development), Florida Center for Community Design and Research University of South Florida]. New York Flora Association, Albany, New York


About This Guide

Information for this guide was last updated on: August 9, 2011

Please cite this page as:
New York Natural Heritage Program. 2024. Online Conservation Guide for Potamogeton strictifolius. Available from: Accessed April 16, 2024.