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Vallisneria americana Michx.
American eelgrass, Water celery, Eelgrass, Tapegrass
Synonym(s): Vallisneria asiatica, Vallisneria neotropicalis, Vallisneria spiralis, Vallisneria spiralis var. asiatica
USDA Symbol: vaam3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
Tape grass leaves are about one inch wide and can be several feet long arising in clusters from their roots. The leaves have rounded tips and raised veins. Single white female flowers grow to the water surface on very long stalks. Tape grass fruit is a banana-like capsule having many tiny seeds.
Can be cultivated in aquariums - needs 5cm thick of rich soil, covered by sand, full light and water temperature between 18 to 20 degrees celsius. (Fleurbec)
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Size Notes:
1-6 inches. Leaf:
Green Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Green
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep
, WV Canada: NB
, QC Native Distribution: In
appropriate environments through much of the eastern half of North America, concentrated in the northeastern US and southeastern Canada and on the Gulf Coast, with scattered populations intervening and in the western US. South through Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean to northern South America. Also, Asia from the Middle East eastward and south to Australia. Native Habitat:
Lakes and running streams; rare in east Texas and west to the Edwards Plateau.
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
High Light Requirement:
Sun , Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Wet CaCO3 Tolerance:
5 cm of soil below water Conditions Comments:
Water celerys long strap-like leaves grow from stoloniferous clumps submerged under water. In
shallow water, leaves may reach and float on the surface. After flowers are fertilized, the flower
stalks curl into spirals and pull the flowers under the surface. An important source of food for turtles and other aquatic wildlife. Good for wetland gardens and habitat.
BenefitInteresting Foliage: yes
Deer Resistant: High
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TX
Record Last Modified: 2010-12-27
Research By: LAL, GAP