Aquatic Plants of Lake George

Macrophytes are the aquatic plant species found growing in or near the lake. Fifty native aquatic plants have been identified in Lake George and they provide important benefits to the aquatic ecosystem. This is the highest known submersed plant species diversity of any lake in the Adirondack Park. The plants provide food and shelter for fish and invertebrates and also produce oxygen, trap sediment, and absorb nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. The water depth, available sunlight, and bottom sediment help to determine the aquatic plants growing in a particular area. If the slope of the bottom is very steep or if the littoral zone is exposed to the continuous pounding of wave action, plants may be scarce. However, many of our shallow bays provide good conditions for plant growth, and commonly support Duck Celery (Vallisneria Americana), Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum), and Pipewort (Heterantera dubia), along with a variety of types of pondweeds (Potamogeton spp.).  Lake George also boasts four native milfoil species, including one that is threatened in New York State.

The seven Lake George plant species below are classified as rare, threatened or endangered by New York State.

Large spored quillwort
(Isoetes lacustris)

Photo courtesy of: © Ian Dodkins

Water marigold
(Bidens beckii) threatened

Photo courtesy of:
Frank Koshere,

Alternateflower watermilfoil
(Myriophyllum alterniflorum)

Photo courtesy of: © Biopix: N Sloth

(Neobeckia aquatica) threatened

Photo courtesy of: Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service,

Northern pondweed
(Potamogeton alpinus)

Photo courtesy of: Don Cameron, MNAP

Water awlwort
(Subularia aquatica)

Photo coutesy of: Paul Hackney

Lesser bladderwort
(Utricularia minor)

Photo courtesy of: University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point and Derek Anderson

Other native plants in Lake George:

Water marigold (Bidens beckii) Variableleaf pondweed (Potamogeton gramineus)
Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum) Floating pondweed (Potamogeton natans)
Waterweed (Elodea canadensis) Bluntleaf pondweed (Potamogeton obtusifolius)
Pipewort (Eriocaulon septangulare) Claspingleaf pondweed (Potamogeton perfoliatus)
Water star grass (Heterantera dubia) Whitestem pondweed (Potamogeton praelongus)
Quillwort (Isoetes echinospora) Robbins' pondweed (Potamogeton robbinsii)
Water lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna) Spiral pondweed (Potamogeton spirillus)
Alternateflower watermilfoil (Myriophyllum alterniflorum) Flatstem pondweed (Potamogeton zosteriformis)
Shortspike watermilfoil (Myriophyllum exalbescens) Water buttercup (Ranunculus longirostris)
Slender watermilfoil (Myriophyllum tenellum) Grassy arrowhead (Sagittaria graminea)
Whorled watermilfoil (Myriophyllum verticillatum) Water awlwort (Subularia aquatica)
Slender naiad (Najas flexilis) Common bladderwort (Utricularia vulgaris)
Northern pondweed (Potamogeton alpinus) Duck celery/ Eelgrass (Vallisneria americana)
Largeleaf pondweed (Potamogeton amplifolius) Horned pondweed (Zannichellia palustris)
Ribbonleaf pondweed (Potamogeton epihydrus)  





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