Eel Grass (Wild Celery)


Ecological Importance

Wild celery, also known as eelgrass or tape grass, provides excellent fish habitat in the form of shade, shelter and feeding opportunities. Bluegills, young perch, and largemouth bass utilize wild celery at different points of their lifecycles. Wild celery is an important dietary component in waterfowl diets, particularly diving ducks; including scaup, canvasbacks, redheads and ring-necked ducks. Marsh birds, shore birds and muskrats also consume wild celery. Additionally, wild celery helps stabilize sediments.


Large colonies of wild celery (vallisneria americana) sometimes interfere with boating, swimming and fishing.

Plant Description

Wild celery is a submerged plant that spreads by runners forming tall underwater meadows. Wild celery grows below the water surface rooted in soft sediments or mud.

The leaves of the wild celery plant are typically dark-green, long, slender blades about 1/2" - 1" inch wide with rounded tips and definite raised veins. Wild celery can often be found growing in beds amid pondweeds and other submerged plants. Wild celery is the only plant with a cork-screw, round stemmed seed head, and sometimes a small white flower will appear in late summer.

Wild celery has been shown to be sensitive to copper absorption when certain formulations, such as Harpoon are applied.


Hints to Identify

Unbranched leaves extending from the lake bottom to the water surface; flowers (and occasionally some leaves) float on the surface; leaves are attached to a horizontal central stem right above lake bottom.

Common Application Questions

Q. When is the best time to treat?

A. For this plant earlier in the season is recommended for herbicide application. For Fall control options, we suggest cutting.

Q. How often do I need to treat the Wild Celery?

A. One to two treatments may be required.


Homeowner Treatment Options
Weedtrine D
*Aquatic Biologists recommends implementing preventative management techniques and physical removal prior to, or in conjunction with treatment.