Canadian Pondweed (Elodea canadensis)



Canadian pondweed (Elodea canadensis)

Photo courtesy of GB Non Native Species Secretariat

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  • Dominates native macrophyte communities and this can lead to their local extinction.
  • Impacts have also been recorded on invertebrate communities.
  • All Elodea species take up metals from the sediment and release them into the water.
  • Sold in Garden Centres and/or aquarium trade.
  • Escape from garden ponds.
  • Disposal of garden waste near water ways.
  • Potential for spread by birds and animals.



Should not be released in the wild. Dispose of garden and pond waste responsibily. Check vehicles, boats, equipment and clothing for plant fragments when leaving infested sites and clean if necessary.

Physical Control

Covering the plants to block light may result in eradication. In reservoirs and lake systems the water level may be lowered in winter with the aim of controlling the population. The success is related to the degree of desiccation, air temperature (at best freezing conditions after drainage), and the presence of snow. As the plant spreads through fragmentation, mechanical controls should only be undertaken during mass developments and when the risk of spread to other water systems is minimal. Using mechanical controls during an ongoing invasion may promote the spread due to fragmentation.

Chemical Control

Trials have been undertaken by using various chemical formulations, such as complexed copper, dipotassium salt and fluridone. More information on control measures is avaiable from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Centre for Aquatic Plant Management Information Sheet 7 (Click here to download)

Note all chemical treatments must be licensed by SEPA.

Biological Control

A fungus (Fusarium sp.) has been identified that damaged Elodea in laboratory tests. Native herbivorous fish/birds may provide another biocontrol option.


Non Native Species Secretariat identification guide

Non Native Species Secretariat Fact Sheet

SNH SAF Training Manual


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