Aquatic PlantsRainbow Springs State Park and The Rainbow River Aquatic Preserve offers a unique opportunity to observe many different types of aquatic plants. The following is some information regarding some of the aquatic plant species you will see in and along the Rainbow River.
The following information and photos, or portions thereof are from the University of Florida's web site. For more information on aquatic plants please visit the following web site: Aquatic Plants, which is a web site provided by The University of Florida Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. Permission to duplicate these photos or portions thereof was requested and reproduction of these photos is forbidden without requesting permission from the University of Florida is prohibited.
Sagittaria kurziana is commonly referred to as Strap-leaf sagittaria.
Strap-leaf sagittaria is a submersed plant, unlike most other Sagittaria. It can form tall underwater meadows in cool, swift-flowing streams. Strap-leaf sagittaria has dark-green, ribbon-like leaves. They are about 3/4 inch wide and are typically two to three feet long. The leaves have sharp, pointed tips, and three to five prominent parallel ridges that run the entire length of the leaf. Strap-leaf sagittaria flowers grow on branched stalks that are sometimes emersed sometimes submersed. The flowers are white, with three petals.
Strap-leaf sagittaria may be confused with tape grass, Vallisneria americana, see below. Compare the leaf tips and the leaf veins.
Vallisneria americana is commonly referred to as Tape grass.
Tape grass is a submersed plant that spreads by runners and sometimes forms tall underwater meadows. Tape grass is common in still and fast-flowing waters. Tape grass leaves arise in clusters from their roots. They are about one inch wide and can be several feet long. The leaves have rounded tips, and definite 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.
Tape grass may be confused with strap-leaf sagittaria, Sagittaria kurziana, see above. Compare the leaf tips and the leaf veins.
Paspalidium geminatum is commonly referred to as Egyptian paspalidium or knot grass.
The common native, Egyptian paspalidium, might first be encountered as long leaves on tufts of thick stems bent at the base, leaning over slow-moving or still water. Egyptian paspalidium is a grass. stem tufted, leaning to erect, thick, bent at base, to 5 ft. long, rooting at nodes; leaf blades flat, folded or rolled, to 1/2 in. thick, to 18 in. long; sheaths long, overlapping; ligule a fringe of short hairs; inflorescence spike-like, 6-20 short branches ascending close to axis, each branch ending in short bristle; spikelets in 2 rows, each pressed into a cavity.