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W2O!: Starry Stonewort
Weeds Watch Out: Starry Stonewort

Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa)
  • Plant Characteristics
    • Submersed plant with long uneven branches
    • Found in deep slow moving water
    • First discovered in the Great Lakes in the St. Lawrence River

    • Starry Stonewort, Michigan State University Extension, www.mlswa.org
      Starry Stonewort, Michigan State University Extension, www.mlswa.org

Starry Stonewort Look Alikes

Native Look Alikes: Nitella (Nitella spp.)

Nitella Drawing, University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Line Drawing DVD Master.  Used with permission.
Nitella Drawing, University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Line Drawing DVD Master. Used with permission.
  • Plant Characteristics
    • Branches are smooth and flexible
    • Branches/leaves are translucent green
    • Branches arranged in whorls around stem
    • Lacks roots. 
    • Attaches to sediment by root-like structures called "holdfasts"
    • May be free floating above sediment
    • Found in shallow and deep waters of lakes and bogs
Native Look Alike:  Muskgrass (Chara spp.)

Muskgrass Drawing, University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Line Drawing DVD Master.  Used with permission.
Muskgrass Drawing, University of Florida, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Line Drawing DVD Master. Used with permission.
  • Plant Characteristics
    • Plant is covered in a brittle scaly coating
    • Often smells "skunky" when squashed
    • Branches are hard and ridged
    • Feels gritty when crushed
    • Inhabits fresh to brackish (salty) waters, both shallow and deep