Najas minor, Brittleleaf Naiad

Gardens & Landscapes, Invasive Species, Extension Master Gardener January 28, 2013 Print Friendly and PDF

Invasive Species: Najas minor, Brittleleaf Naiad

Brittleleaf naiad is an invasive annual forb that is native to Europe. The highly branched stems can grow up to 4 ft. (1.2 m) in length and fragment easily; hence the common name. Leaves are opposite, linear, and approximately 1 in. (2.5 cm) in length with prominent teeth along the margins. Flowering occurs in late spring to early summer, when small flowers develop in the axils of the leaves. Fruit are single-seeded. Germination of the seeds occurs in early spring. Brittleleaf naiad can be confused with coon's tail (Ceratophyllum spp.) but can be distinguished by the leaf arrangement. The leaves of coon's tail are arranged in whorls of four or five instead of the opposite arrangement of brittleleaf naiad. This invasive species was first collected in the United States in the 1930s.

What are invasive species and why should we be concerned about them? 


Taxonomy: Scientific and Common Names for This Species

Najadales > Najadaceae > Najas minor All.

Synonym(s): brittle waternymph, brittleleaf naiad, European naiad, spinyleaf naiad, slender-leaved naiad

Najas minor - USDA PLANTS Profile

Distribution Maps

Brittleleaf naiad - The reported distribution of this invasive species across the United States. (Source: Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States)

Up-to-the-minute distribution maps and why they are important

Reporting This Invasive Species

What is the best way and place to report the occurrence of an invasive species? 

 How to report an invasive species sighting to EDDMapS - Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System

EDDMapS - Report an invasive species to EDDMapS

Cooperative Extension Offices - Find your local Cooperative Extension office on this map provided by USDA

How to Identify

This invasive species can be identified by looking for the characteristics described in the paragraphs that follow.

Plant

An invasive annual forb that is native to Europe. The highly branched stems can grow up to 4 ft. (1.2 m) in length and fragment easily; hence the common name.

Graves Lovell, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, bugwood.org Nancy Loewenstein, Auburn University, bugwood.org

Foliage

Leaves are opposite, linear, and approximately 1 in. (2.5 cm) in length with prominent teeth along the margins.

Graves Lovell, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, bugwood.org Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, bugwood.org

Flower

Flowering occurs in late spring to early summer when small flowers develop in the axils of the leaves.

 

 
 bugwood.org bugwood.org

Fruit

Fruit are single-seeded. Germination of the seeds occurs in early spring.

   
bugwood.org bugwood.org

Native Species That Resemble Brittleleaf Naiad

 

Najas guadalupensis, southern naiad - Images at invasive.org

Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., bugwood.org Graves Lovell, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, bugwood.org

 

Najas flexilis, slender naiad - Images at invasive.org

Rob Routledge, Sault College, bugwood.org Rob Routledge, Sault College, bugwood.org

 

Additional Images for Brittleleaf Naiad

Brittleleaf naiad - Images at Invasive.org

 

Learning Resources for Brittleleaf Naiad

 

Additional Information, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Control and management recommendations vary according to individual circumstances. Location, habitat, weather, and a variety of other conditions are factors that help determine the best treatment choice. To find the safest and most effective treatment for your situation, consult your state's land-grant institution. If you will use chemicals as part of the control process, always refer to the product label.

United States Land-Grant University System - Find your land-grant university's College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, or other related partner on this map provided by USDA.

Global Invasive Species Database - Invasive Species Specialist Group

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England - EDDMapS.org

Aquatic Nuisance Species Program - Aquatic Nuisance Species Program, SCDNR

Flora of North America - eFloras.org

Fact Sheet - Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management


 

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.