plant Easy level

Elodea nuttallii (Planch.) H.St.John

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Western waterweed, Nuttall's waterweed

Elodea nuttallii is a freshwater aquatic plant that forms dense mats, often submerged.

It is easy to confuse it with Elodea canadensis, which has leaves that are shorter with a length to width ratio of 3:1 and apex ovate, while Elodea nuttallii of 6:1 and more acute apex.

Elodea nuttallii is native to North America, it grows in running waters, irrigation canals, ponds, lake bottoms, and lowland rivers with calm, warm and shallow deep, nutrient-rich, from sea level to about 600m.

Native to: Alabama, Arkansas, British Columbia, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nova Scotia, Ohio, Ontario, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Québec, Rhode I., Saskatchewan, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Introduced into: Austria, Baltic States, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, Canary Is., Central European Rus, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, East European Russia, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Jamaica, Krasnoyarsk, Krym, Morocco, Netherlands, New South Wales, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, North European Russi, Northern Territory, Northwest European R, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Romania, South Australia, South European Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tasmania, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Ukraine, Victoria, West Siberia, Western Australia, Yugoslavia.

Submitted by
Natasha Khardina
45.1261292, 9.3747349
Geographical region
Southern Europe
Drainage Basin
River catchment
Po River
Water body type
Water body name
Water body part
Water body course
Middle course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Type locality
Unknown type material.
Conservation status/IUCN Red List
Least Concern (LC)
Listed in CITES

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
15-28 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

Dissolved Oxygen


Plant form
Plant type
Plant size
30-100 cm
Plant growth rate
Plant light demand
Aquarium equipment

Elodea works well in many fish tanks. Elodea acts to increase the levels of oxygen in the water. It can also be a food source for different fish and aquatic snails. The leaves also absorb nutrients from the water that are normally considered a nuisance to other organisms in an aquarium (such as nitrogen).

To keep Elodea nuttallii in the aquarium provide the it with 10-12 hours of light. Elodea can grow if it is free floating, but it does grow more vigorously if it is rooted in a substrate.

Plant care

Elodea nuttallii is a dioecious species and outside its range rarely reproduces sexually. Vegetative reproduction occurs due to the fragility of the small stems, which, when broken by currents, root and make autonomous small plants genetically identical to the mother plant.

Depending on the make-up of your aquarium community, it may be necessary to add an aquatic plant fertilizer to replenish depleted mineral content. Iron is of primary concern as Elodea depletes this mineral rapidly. Leaf chlorosis is the most common sign of iron deficiency. Leaves yellowing at the edges only may be showing signs of potassium deficiency.

Water care

In Nature it is normally found in shallow waters with pH between 7 and 9. It lives in waters rich in limestone and slightly brackish, tolerating polluted waters.