Water Chestnut has Arrived in Conewango Creek Watershed

Another Invasive Aquatic Weed in our Area

In 2012 isolated water chestnut plants were found in Chautauqua Lake.  But a large infestation is living at the Jamestown Audubon Sanctuary on 1600 River Road, Jamestown, NY.  There is great concern that these plants will find their way to our waterways, lakes, and ponds.  It is a very agrresive species and can cover the entire surface of a water body in just a few years.  There is some evidence that their “nutlets” (seeds) are carries on the feathers of waterfowl and is easy spread great distances.

Water Chestnut – What is it?

Water Chestnut is a rooted, aquatic plant with both floating and submersed leaves. The floating leaves form a rosette and are green, glossy and triangular with toothed edges. The submersed leaves are feathery, and are found whorled around the stem. Plant stems are cord-like and can attain lengths of up to 16 feet. Water chestnut is an annual plant, overwintering entirely by seed. In July the plant begins to produce seeds (called nuts) with 4 sharp spines. Mature seeds are green to greenish brown and sink to the bottom. Seeds may remain alive in the sediment for up to 12 years! Floating black nuts will not sprout. (Please note: this plant species is not the same as the “water chestnut” used in Asian cooking.)

Single Water Chestnut Plant
Single Water Chestnut Plant

 

Nuts or Nutlets (Seeds)
Nuts or Nutlets (Seeds)

 

This plant can cover the entire surdface of a water body in a few years.

For more detailed information on Water Chestnut go to the US Fish and Wildlife Service website on Water Chestnut.  (Click that title)

 

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