Spineless Hornwort

Spineless Hornwort Plant Information


Spineless Hornwort grows in the following 35 states:

Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin, Oregon, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington

Ceratophyllum echinatum, commonly called spineless hornwort, is an aquatic perennial plant of the genus Ceratophyllum. It can be found in ponds and lakes. It is principally an eastern North American species and the only species of its genus endemic to North America.

Ceratophyllum echinatum is an aquatic herb. The spineless hornwort usually does not have any roots with stems that are freely branching (0.3-4.0 m long). The leaves are submerged and they are usually in whorls of 5 to 12. Its flower does not have any petals but have sepals (3-15) that are sometimes mistaken for petals. The flower is tiny, could be male or female, and contains about 12 to 16 stamens. It blooms from February to July. The fruits have dry seeds with a lot of spines and a rough surface.
Ceratophyllum echinatum can be found in the United States and also in some parts of Canada.
It is often used in aquariums because of the way they look, its high oxygen production, and its ability to minimize the blue-green algae growth.
Several states list this species as threatened or endangered:
Ceratophyllum comes from the Greek keras, "a horn" and phyllon, "leaf", which is alluding to the stiff and narrow leaf divisions. The specific epithet echinatum comes from echinus which means "sea-urchin or hegdehog"; therefore it is called "spiny".

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