By: C. Colston Burrell
Eelgrass grows underwater, and it is beautiful foliage.

It's unfortunate that eelgrass grows underwater, as it is quite attractive in its own right. In practice, though, this oxygenating plant is grown more for its usefulness, since it is scarcely visible in its pool bottom habitat.

Description of eelgrass: Eelgrass bears ribbonlike, translucent leaves in pale green that rise gracefully upward, but they rarely reach the surface. The small white flowers are scarcely noticeable. It loses its leaves and goes dormant in the winter, even in zone 10. Ease of care of eelgrass: Easy.


Growing eelsgrass: Unlike most submerged plants, eelgrass is not sold in the form of clusters of cuttings but rather as a single rooted plant. Sink its pot so it is 6 to 24 inches underwater. It grows equally well in sun, partial shade, or shade.

Propagating eelgrass: Eelgrass produces runners that root when they touch the soil. The plantlets thus produced can be cut free and grown separately.

Uses for eelsgrass: This plant is an excellent oxygenator and a favorite with fish, which use it both for spawning and as a food source.

Related species of eelgrass: Various submerged sagittarias (Sagittaria) look much like eelgrass and perform similar functions. S. graminea is one of the larger ones, reaching 3 feet in height. S. natans is similar but much smaller, only 3 to 6 inches tall.

Scientific name of eelgrass: Vallisneria americana


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