Meet the Family (Classification)

Potamogeton crispus can be classified under the following categories according to the United States Department of Agriculture:

curly leaf pondweedDomain: Eukarya-- Curly leaf pondweed is a member of the Eukaryotes. These organisms have membrane-bound organelles and a nucleus that contains its hereditary material.

Kingdom: Plantae-- As members of the Plantae, these organisms have cell walls made of cellulose that help to provide structure, support and rigidity for this organism. All members of this group are also photosynthetic, as they utilize sunlight as energy to makecurly leaf pondweed sugars.

Phylum: Magnoliophyta-- All members of the Magnoliophyta are seed plants that have vascular systems. These systems aid in nutrient and water transport. This phylum is also known as the angiosperms.

Class: Liliopsida-- Curly leaf pondweed falls under Liliopsida because, like all other members of this class, it produces flowersCurly leaf pondweed during one stage of its lifecycle. This class of organisms is also commonly referred to as the monocotyledons because they have fibrous roots, plant parts that come in 3's, parallel veins within their leaves, and only one cotyledon.

Order: Najadales-- The order Najadales includes all flowering aquatic or semi-aquatic plants.

Family: Potamogetonaceae-- This family includes almost 100 species of pondweed. Because of its dominance of species diversity in this order, the plants under Najadales are sometimes referred to as Potemogetonales!

Genus: Potamogeton-- This genus includes many different varieties of pondweed. While some are morphologically similar to curly leaf pondweed, many are not.

Species: crispus-- The species Potamogeton crispus is known for having a flattened stem, serrate leaf margins, and for producing turions during the late summer and early fall.

Pictured below is the phylogeny for curly leaf pondweed down to the order of these organisms. Trace the lineage of this incredible submerged macrophyte by following the red lines!

From the order Najadales stems the Potamogetonaceae family. There are two main genera of this family; curly leaf pondweed is a member of the larger genus, Potamogeton. This is a continually changing group of organisms; what was once considered "pondweed" is now actually a polymorphic group contain hundreds of submerged plants! The species placed within Potamogeton are determined by their molecular similarities.  This genus has over 62 accepted species, some of which, are shown below. Imagine attending THAT family reunion!

Potamogetonaceae family

Continue to HABITAT to see where this organism resides!