Weed Department
Idaho State Noxious 
Weed Law
Brazilian Elodea

   Interesting Facts

Brazilian elodea is an ornamental aquatic plant that is used primarily for fish aquariums. Infestations can alter aquatic ecosystems, trapping sediment and degrading water quality. It forms dense mats that shade out other native aquatic plants, inhibits water flow, and recreational activities.


General Description: Submersed freshwater perennial herb that grows underwater and is sometimes free floating. It forms dense masses of growth near the water's surface.

Flower Description: Brazilian elodea has male and female flowers on separate plants. So far introduced populations only have male flowers. The flowers are white, have 3 petals and are on threadlike stems.

Leaf Description: Lower leaves appear in whorls of 3, and the upper leaves appear in whorls of 4 to 8. They are minutely serrated, linear and bright green.

Stem Description: Stems grow upright until reaching the surface and then branch, forming a dense mat of growth.

Fruit/Seed Description: Only male plants have been found here in Washington, so no seed is produced here.

May be confused with: There is a native elodea that may be confused with Brazilian elodea. Waterweed (Elodea canadensis) is much smaller and less robust. If you need help with identification, contact your county weed coordinator.