Sago pondweed (Stuckenia pectinata) can form elongated stems up to several meters in length with fanlike clusters of filiform leaf blades extending to the water’s surface.
S. pectinatus prefers moderately salty, oligohaline waters of 5-18 ppt.
Reproduction & Growth
S. pectinatus reproduces both through vegetative and sexual processes. Vegetative growth is through spread of shoots and roots. It also produces over-wintering tubers as well as specialized winter buds called turions. Pollination, fertilization, and fruit development occur at the water/air interface. Seeds form in clusters at the tips of the stems. P. pectinatus can be a prolific spreader and rapid colonizer through both extensive seed and tuber production.
Although abundant in oligohaline regions of Chesapeake Bay, S. pectinatus has only been occasionally observed in the York River where it grows in small beds at the heads of small tributaries. While not recorded in Taskinas Creek, the low-salinity region at the upper limits of tidal influence in that tributary would be a potential site for sago occurrence.
S. pectinatus can be an important component of the diet of waterfowl and habitat for fish and invertebrates.
Visit the IUCN S. pectinatus page for range maps, conservation status, and other details.