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Also, known as ditch grass, widgeon grass is a close relative of
the naiads and horned pondweed and shares their ability to produce
large numbers of seeds. This makes it an important food provider
for waterfowl along with providing an excellent cover for fish. All
the plant parts are eaten by waterfowl (over 5,000 seeds were found
in one duck). Often used for habitat rehabilitation.
Widgeon grass normally does not create
problems within lakes and ponds with the exception of swimming
areas and around docks from time to time.
Widgeon grass is a completely submerged perennial plant with
single or multi-branched stems up to 3 feet long. Leaves are
alternate, simple, and thread-like (less than 1/32 of an inch wide)
up to 4 inches long with sheaths. Flowers and fruits in clusters at
the end of individual stalks. Fruits are small (< 1/32 inches),
dark-green and pear-shaped. Widgeon grass can live in fresh or
brackish water to 10 ppt (parts per thousand) salinity or
When not in flower or with seeds,
widgeon grass closely resembles horned pondweed (Zanichellia
palustris) and sago pondweed (Stuckenia
pectinata). Unlike widgeon grass, however, horned pondweed has
opposite to whorled leaves, and the leaves of sago pondweed are in
A. Spot treat as
needed to maintain navigation channels and swimming areas. Remember
this plant is very beneficial and should not be treated where it is
not a nuisance.
A. Once water
temperatures are around sixty degrees or warmer and/or the plant is
actively flowering. Widgeon Grass responds equally well to
herbicide treatment when mature.
A. Generally one to
two treatments per season is enough.
A. Generally within
two to three weeks things will be cleared up.
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