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Aquatic Plant Gallery

Water Plants

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Algae are single-celled plants that often form large colonies. The form of these colonies differs widely. The smallest are undetectable to human vision.  Many form films or mats. Then there are those that look like flowering plants, like Chara and seaweed. Groups of cells differentiate to perform a function beneficial to the colony becoming root-like, stem-like, leaf-like, and fruit-like. It is believed that true flowering plants developed from this kind of algae.

Euglenozoa - phylum     Hydrodictyaceae - family
Green Algae **za 5**

possibly Pediastrum boryanum
This is the freshwater algae that grows in every pond and lake.
Photos taken in Taylor County, Texas, April & August 2005
(Native of Texas)

Pond algae, in green and golden phases

za 5 algae in pond (1)   za 5 algae in pond

Close up of bubbles in algae.

za 5 algae in trouph

Muskgrass, Chara sp   Muskgrass, Chara sp (1)   Muskgrass, Chara sp (2)   Muskgrass, Chara sp (3)   Muskgrass, Chara sp (4)

Charales - Stonewart order     Characeae - family
Muskgrass (Skunkweed, Chara) Chara sp.
This is a multicellular form of Green Algae, not a flowering plant. The central stem with whirls of short leaf-like stems. The base is typically anchored to bottom with rhizoids but if broken will float free. The depth of growth depends on light penetration of the water. They are rough because of calcium salts in the cell walls.
The common name refers to its unpleasant garlic-like smell of hydrogen sulfide. In a drought, stinking mats of dead Chara line the shore helping to reduce erosion.
Chara filters sediment from the water. It also provides a safer area for small fish and other animals. Some duck species eat Chara. Birds transport small pieces to uninfected ponds where they proliferate.
Photos taken in Taylor County, Texas, July 2008
(Native of Texas - family not listed in BONAP)

(1) In the early spring, the pond can be fertilized to produce algal bloom to discourage Chara growth.
(2) Triploid Grass Carp eat Chara and control its population after the first year. You need 7-15 fish per surface acre and a permit from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department before purchasing from a certified dealer.

Also see:
water plants

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