Rooted and free-floating aquatic plants are a natural and essential part of the lake ecosystem.
Aquatic plants can be grouped into four categories:
Emergent plants are rooted and have stems or leaves that rise well above the water surface. These plants, such as cattails, grow in shallow water or on the immediate shoreline where water lies just below the land surface.
Rooted floating-leafed plants, such as water lilies, have leaves that rest on, or slightly above, the water surface and they have long stalks that connect the leaves to the root mass in the lake bottom.
Submergent plants grow with all or most of their leaves and stems below the water surface. They may be rooted in the lake bottom or free-floating in the water. Most of these plants, such as water milfoil and coontail, have long, thin, flexible stems that are supported by the water.
Free-floating plants, such as duckweed, are found on the lake surface. Their root systems hang freely from the rest of the plant and are not connected to the lake bottom.
A Citizens’ Guide for the Identification, Mapping and Management of the Common Aquatic Plants of Michigan has been developed by the MLSA to assist riparians, and others interested in Michigan lakes, in the identification and management of aquatic plants. Click Here for information.
Click Here to go to the web site published by the University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. This web site contains pictures and information that can help with the identification of aquatic plants.
Click Here for information on how to order the North American Lake Management Society's (NALMS) book "Through the Looking Glass" --a comprehensive book on aquatic plant identification.