Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Vallisneria americana
wild celery, American eelgrass, tapegrass

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Introduced from British Columbia to Oregon, and in Montana; native in central and eastern North America.

Habitat: Ponds, lakes and quiet streams

Flowers: July-September

Origin: Introduced from eastern North America

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Wind, water


Submersed, dioecious, scapose perennials from rhizomes.


Leaves tufted, long, linear and submersed, thin, flat, 1-5 dm. long and 3-10 mm. broad.


Staminate flowers tiny, several hundred clustered in a sub-globose structure of 3 fused bracts, becoming deciduous and free-floating; pistillate flowers at the water surfaced, solitary on long, slender scapes, enclosed at the base in fused, tubular bracts on a peduncle 1-2 m. long, tending to coil; sepals 3, 2-3 cm. long; corolla white, 3-parted, 5 mm. wide; stigmas 3, 2-lobed.


Fruit 5-10 cm. long.

Accepted Name:
Vallisneria americana Michx.
Publication: Flora Boreali-Americana. 2: 220. 1803.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Vallisneria americana Michx. var. americana [Crow & Hellquist 2000]
Vallisneria neotropica Vict.
Vallisneria spiralis L., misapplied [HC]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Vallisneria americana in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Vallisneria americana checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Vallisneria americana information.

E-Flora BC: Vallisneria americana atlas page.

CalPhotos: Vallisneria americana photos.

USDA Plants: Vallisneria americana information.

36 photographs:
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