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CERATOPHYLLUM demersum

Image of Ceratophyllum demersum

Family

Ceratophyllaceae

Botanical Name

CERATOPHYLLUM demersum

Plant Common Name

Hornwort, Racoon's Tail

General Description

Coon’s tail is a submersed aquatic plant native to all of North America and now is distributed worldwide. It is a rootless perennial which floats just below the surface of the water. It has long stems which are mostly green, occasional with a touch of red at the nodes. The leaves are attached directly to the stem in a circular arrangement or whorled. Each leaf is thin, linear and forked several times. They are bright green, stiff, brittle and often have barbs or bristles at the base and tips. Small, inconspicuous, cup-shaped flowers appear among the leaves spring through fall. Propagation is by stem fragments and can be prolific.

Coon’s tail grows in slow-moving fresh to very slightly brackish water. It is adaptable to changing water levels and cloudy water conditions. It grows in association with many other water plants and may become entangled with rooted species which hold it in place. This plant has been known to become weedy and cause problems for small boats and recreational water use. Coon’s tail is useful in water gardens and aquariums.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 3

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 11

  • Plant Type

    Aquatics

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    1'-30' / 0.3m - 9.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall

  • Native To

    North America

Growing Conditions

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Ample Water

  • Habit

    Mat-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Insignificant

  • Flower Color

    Green

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Olive

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Olive

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Olive

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Olive

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes