Potamogeton friesii

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Potamogeton friesii
Potamogeton friesii.jpeg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Alismatales
Family: Potamogetonaceae
Genus: Potamogeton
P. friesii
Binomial name
Potamogeton friesii
  • Potamogeton acutifolius J.Presl. & C. Presl.
  • Potamogeton major Morong
  • Potamogeton mucronatus Schrad. ex Sond.
  • Potamogeton oederi G.Mey.
  • Potamogeton pusillus subsp. friesii(Rupr.) Hook.f.
  • Spirillus friesii (Rupr.) Nieuwl.

Potamogeton friesii, known as flat-stalked pondweed,[2] or Fries' pondweed,[3] is an aquatic plant in the genus Potamogeton. It grows mainly in mesotrophic to eutrophic rivers, lakes, ponds and ditches, rarely in brackish water. It occurs in North America, Europe, western Asia and a few scattered locations elsewhere in Asia.


Flat-stalked pondweed grows annually from turions and seed, producing branching plants with slender, flattened stems that are well-branched. The submerged leaves are long, rather grass-like, sessile, and translucent. The leaf tips are mucronate (i.e. with the midrib extending out of the leaf, giving a pointed appearance).[4] Abundant turions are produced along the stem, especially in autumn as the plant disintegrates.

Flat-stalked pondweed could be confused with other fine-leaved pondweeds within its range, especially Potamogeton obtusifolius[4] but potentially also P. pusillus. The combination of open stipules, rounded tips to the leaves, dense flower spikes and a tendency to produce a mass of bushy growth at the surface all help to distinguish this plant, but use of a botanical key or flora is recommended.

Potamogeton friesii is diploid, with 2n=26.[5]

Two hybrids of Potamogeton friesii have been described, with P. crispus (P. × lintonii Fryer) and P. acutifolius (P. × pseudofriesii Dandy & G.Taylor).[6]


Flat-stalked pondweed was first described in 1847 by the Austrian botanist Franz Josef Ruprecht.[1] The specific name friesii commemorates the Swedish mycologist and botanist Elias Magnus Fries.[7] It is related to other fine-leaved pondweeds such as P. obtusifolius, P. foliosus and P. pusillus.[8]


Potamogeton friesii occurs predominantly in North America (Canada, northern USA),[9] Europe (Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, British Isles, NE and central France, Belarus, Ukraine, European Russia, Pyrenees, Carpathians),[7] There are isolated populations in southern Europe (Corsica, N Italy, Balkans) and in Asia (N China, Russia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan).[7][10]

Ecology and conservation[edit]

In Britain, P. friesii occurs in a range of standing water habitats including ponds, ditches, canals,[11] sluggish rivers and shallow lakes, favouring calcareous waters.[12][4] It is strictly a lowland plant[12] and is tolerant of eutrophication, especially in rivers.[13][14][15] Like other fine-leaved pondweeds, P. friesii probably benefits from a certain amount of disturbance to suppress competing vegetation.

Flat-stalked pondweed has suffered local declines and is thought to be extinct in the Czech Republic,[16] and is Endangered in Switzerland,[17] and Germany.[18] It is considered to have declined in Britain, but is still widespread,[12] and was listed as Near Threatened in 2002.[19] A more recent assessment for England only[20] reassessed its status as Vulnerable, reflecting ongoing population declines. However, in the Netherlands it is considered least concern.[21]


Flat-stalked pondweed is not presently in cultivation. Although its wide ecological tolerance suggests it may not be difficult to grow, it would probably require a deeper substrate than is usual in most ornamental ponds. It is also likely to compete poorly with other pond plants.


  1. ^ a b The Plant List: Potamogeton friesii. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanic Gardens. Accessed January 8, 2015
  2. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  3. ^ "Potamogeton friesii". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  4. ^ a b c Preston, C.D. (1995). Pondweeds of Great Britain and Ireland. BSBI Handbook No. 8. London: Botanical Society of the British Isles.
  5. ^ Kaplan Z., Jarolímová V., Fehrer J, 2013. Revision of chromosome numbers of Potamogetonaceae: a new basis for taxonomic and evolutionary implications. Preslia, 85, 421-482.
  6. ^ Wiegleb G., Kaplan Z. 1998. An account of the species of Potamogeton L. (Potamogetonaceae). Folia Geobotanica, 33, 241-316.
  7. ^ a b c Anderberg, A.; Anderberg, A-L. "Uddnate Potamogeton friesii". Den Virtuella Floren.
  8. ^ Lindqvist C., De Laet J., Haynes R.R., Aagesen L., Keener B.R., Albert V.A. 2006. Molecular phylogenetics of an aquatic plant lineage, Potamogetonaceae. Cladistics, 22, 568-588.
  9. ^ "Plants Profile for Potamogeton friesii". United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  10. ^ Guo, Y.; Haynes, R.R.; Hellquist, C.B.; Kaplan, Z. (2010). "Potamogeton". Flora of China. 23. pp. 108–114.
  11. ^ Briggs J.D., Tandy C.E. 1987. Aquatic Plants in the Montgomery Canal. BSBI Welsh Bulletin, 45, 3-5 Archived 2012-10-15 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b c "Potamogeton friesii". Online Atlas of the British and Irish flora.
  13. ^ Maëmets H., Freiberg L. 2005. Long-and short-term changes of the macrophyte vegetation in strongly stratified hypertrophic Lake Verevi. Hydrobiologia, 547, 175-184.
  14. ^ UK Water Framework Directive Technical Advisory Group (UKTAG). 2014. UKTAG Lake Assessment Method: Macrophytes and Phytobenthos: Macrophytes (Lake LEAFPACS2). ISBN 978-1-906934-45-3. Available online at Lakes Leafpacs
  15. ^ UK Water Framework Directive Technical Advisory Group (UKTAG). 2014. UKTAG River Assessment Method: Macrophytes and Phytobenthos: Macrophytes (River LEAFPACS2). ISBN 978-1-906934-44-6. Available online at River Leafpacs
  16. ^ Grulich V. 2012. Red List of vascular plants of the Czech Republic: 3rd edition. Preslia, 84, 631–645.
  17. ^ Moser D.M., Gygax A., Bäumler B., Wyler N., Palese R. 2002. Liste rouge des espèces menacées de Suisse. Fougères et plantes à fleurs. Ed. Office fédéral de l’environnement, des forêts et du paysage, Berne; Centre du Réseau Suisse de Floristique, Chambésy; Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Chambésy. Série OFEFP «L’environnement pratique». 118 pp.
  18. ^ Bundesamt fur Naturschutz: Potamogeton friesii (in German)
  19. ^ Cheffings, C.M.; Farrell, L. (eds), Dines, T.D.; Jones, R.A.; Leach, S.J.; McKean, D.R.; Pearman, D.A.; Preston, C.D.; Rumsey, F.J.; Taylor, I. (2005). "The Vascular Plant Red Data List for Great Britain". Species Status 7: 1–116. Peterborough: Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
  20. ^ Stroh P.A., Leach S.J., August T.A., Walker K.J., Pearman D.A., Rumsey F.J., Harrower C.A., Fay M.F., Martin J.P., Pankhurst T., Preston C.D. & Taylor I. 2014. A Vascular Plant Red List for England. Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, Bristol.
  21. ^ Sparrius L.B., Odé B., Beringen R. 2014. Basisreport Rode Lijst Vaatplanten 2012 volgens Nederlandse en IUCN-criteria. FLORON Rapport 57. Floron, Nijmegen.

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