We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Aquatic Plants of Pennsylvania

A Complete Reference Guide

By Timothy A. Block and Ann Fowler Rhoads. Illustrations by Anna Anisko

Publication Year: 2011

From the Delaware River to the shores of Lake Erie, Pennsylvania's diverse watery habitats are home to more than 200 species of aquatic plants. In Aquatic Plants of Pennsylvania: A Complete Reference Guide, botanists Timothy A. Block and Ann Fowler Rhoads have assembled the first identification guide specific to the Keystone State yet useful throughout the Mid Atlantic region. Organized and written in a way that will make information easily accessible to specialists and nonspecialists alike, the book highlights the diversity and vital ecological importance of this group of plants, providing photographs, illustrations, descriptions, and identification keys for all emergent, floating-leaved, and submergent aquatic plants found in the Commonwealth.

An introductory chapter on aquatic plant ecology covers topics such as evolution, form, and reproduction of aquatic plants, vegetation zones, types of aquatic ecosystems, and rare and endangered species. Information on invasive plants, such as Eurasian water-milfoil and curly pondweed, that threaten Pennsylvania's aquatic ecosystems will be especially useful to watershed organizations, citizen monitoring projects, lake managers, and natural resource agency personnel. An illustrated identification key guides the reader through a series of steps to properly identify a specimen based on its characteristics. Each of the more than 200 listings provides a plant's taxonomy, detailed description, distribution map, and expert botanical illustrations. Many also include color photographs of the plants in their natural habitats.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (399.8 KB)
pp. iii

Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (71.3 KB)
pp. iv

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (137.4 KB)
pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF (116.9 KB)
pp. vii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (73.2 KB)
pp. ix

This book is intended to foster an appreciation for the diversity of native aquatic plants and their role in aquatic ecosystems. We have included information to help readers distinguish major groups of aquatic plants by growth form and habitat relationships. The identification keys, descriptions, and...


pdf iconDownload PDF (96.0 KB)
pp. xi

read more

Chapter 1. Evolution and Ecology

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.9 MB)
pp. 1-20

It’s not always easy to decide what to include in a list of aquatic plants. We treat 194 macrophytes (large plants) here, including 178 flowering plants, 2 horsetails, 2 ferns, 5 quillworts, 3 mosses, 2 liverworts, and 2 Charophyte algae. Phytoplankton and filamentous algae are not included. Macrophytes...

read more

Chapter 2. Identification Keys for the Aquatic Plants of Pennsylvania

pdf iconDownload PDF (739.5 KB)
pp. 21-28

The keys in this book are designed to guide the user through a series of decisions leading to proper identification. At each step of the key, the user must examine a characteristic or characteristics of the plant and decide which of a pair of corresponding statements best fits the specimen in question. Each...

read more

Chapter 3. Emergent Plants

pdf iconDownload PDF (50.8 MB)
pp. 29-142

Arrow-arum is one of several emergent aquatic plants with large, arrow-shaped leaves. The plants consist of a cluster of long-petioled leaves that grow from buried vertical rhizomes. The strongly veined leaf blades are 5–20 cm long. Separate male and female flowers are packed closely on a fleshy stalk...

read more

Chapter 4. Floating-leaf Plants

pdf iconDownload PDF (8.2 MB)
pp. 143-162

Floating-heart is named for its heart-shaped floating leaves that are about 5–8 cm long and look like miniature water-lily leaves. Although some leaves arise directly from the basal rhizome, floating-heart also produces erect, buoyant stems from which a leaf, several flowers, and...

read more

Chapter 5. Thalloid and/or Tiny Floating Plants

pdf iconDownload PDF (8.7 MB)
pp. 163-182

Plants in this group have a reduced structure lacking well-defined stems and leaves, or have tiny floating stems with minute leaves. They are small plants that float at or just below the water surface, or in a few cases grow attached to submerged rocks or other solid surfaces. Included in this group are flowering...

read more

Chapter 6. Submergent Leafy-stemmed Plants

pdf iconDownload PDF (30.4 MB)
pp. 183-240

This group of species grows rooted in the lake bottom or attached to rocks or other solid underwater surfaces. Their stems bear numerous leaves, most of which are beneath the water surface, but some at the stem tip may be floating. The group includes aquatic mosses and flowering plants. Flowering and...

read more

Chapter 7. Submergent Rosette-forming Plants

pdf iconDownload PDF (6.6 MB)
pp. 241-254

Plants in this group are rooted in the lake bed and form a basal rosette of leaves. The group includes flowering plants and the quillworts, which reproduce by spores. In the flowering species an erect, leafless, flowering stem arises from the basal rosette, and flowers are usually borne above the water surface...

read more

Chapter 8. Submergent Plants with Finely Divided Leaves

pdf iconDownload PDF (16.4 MB)
pp. 255-290

The characteristic that defines this group is submergent leaves that are divided into fine, capillary segments. The plants may be either free-floating or rooted. Most are completely submergent, but stem tips or flowering stems of some species extend above the water surface...


pdf iconDownload PDF (157.6 KB)
pp. 291-294

References and Sources

pdf iconDownload PDF (241.1 KB)
pp. 295-298

Appendix: Taxonomic List of Plants Included

pdf iconDownload PDF (187.2 KB)
pp. 299-304


pdf iconDownload PDF (163.3 KB)
pp. 305-308

E-ISBN-13: 9780812205046
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812243062

Page Count: 400
Publication Year: 2011