Aquatic Plant Monitoring


Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 10:57:41 -0500
From: “Kristine F. Stepenuck”
Subject: [volmonitor] Aquatic plant ID guide for streams?

Hi EPA list serve participants-
I wonder if anyone can recommend a good aquatic plant ID guide for streams?  We have a monitoring group here in Wisconsin looking for such a book that covers river plants, not only lake plants.  One idea I had was “Through the Looking Glass” published here in WI, but it’s be great to have some other ideas as well. Thanks for your help!
Kris Stepenuck
Water Action Volunteers/ Volunteer Stream Monitoring Coordinator
UW-Extension and WI Department of Natural Resources
210 Hiram Smith Hall
1545 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1289
Phone: 608-265-3887
Fax: 608-262-2031


Date: Mon, 04 Aug 2003 10:03:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bob williams
Subject: Re: [volmonitor] Aquatic plant ID guide for streams?

Aquatic Plants of Illinois.  $5 from IL STATE MUSEUM
Bob Williams

Rivers Project

Elaine Snouwaert:

There’s a guide available online that focuses on Washington State aquatic plants. But the person ( who sent the link thought that it would have some overlap of plants outside WA, which makes sense.  It’s at:

From: “Drociak, Jen”
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2006 06:01:23 -0400
Subject: NHDES “A Field Guide To Common Riparian Plants of New Hampshire”Publication Now On-Line!

Hello Everyone!

It is with much anticipation and excitement (after 10 months!) that I announce the completion of the first edition of “A Field Guide to Common Riparian Plants of New Hampshire.” It is currently published as a PDF via the NHDES Volunteer River Assessment Program website and can be viewed by visiting At this point, the publication is only available on-line. Should circumstances change and it becomes available as a hard-copy, I will let you know.

This full-color field guide was created for both VRAP volunteers and others to assist in identifying common native and non-native riparian plant species. Over 70 plant species are described in the text, with additional live specimen scans and habitat photos.

The field guide is organized into six sections:
In the Water: Submerged Aquatic Plants: Plants that have most of their leaves growing under water; some floating leaves may also be present. They are found from shallow to deep zones.
On the Edge: Emergent Herbaceous Plants: Plants that have leaves that extend above the water’s surface and are usually found in shallow water.
Ferns: Non-flowering plants that bear spores rather than seeds with flattened leaf-like “fronds” that are further divided.
Woody Shrubs: Woody plants which are generally shorter than trees and smaller in trunk size. They have clusters of stems rising directly from the ground and generally have a “bushy” appearance with no special crown shape.
C limbing Vines: Plants with a weak stem that derive support from climbing, twining, or creeping along a surface.
The Canopy (Trees): Woody plants that usually grow from the ground with a single erect stem or trunk. The main stem may be massive and is often unbranched for several feet above the ground. Trees can reach a considerable height at maturity.

Plant species descriptions include the following:
Status: Whether the plant is native or non-native/exotic/invasive. Those plants that are non-native/exotic/invasive which are also prohibited in New Hampshire are identified as such.
Habitat: Describes the best conditions for growth of this plant and where to locate it.
Height: Describes how tall or long the plant grows.
Bark: In the Woody Shrub and Tree sections, describes the unique features of the bark.
Buds: In the Woody Shrub and Tree sections, describes the unique features of the buds.
Stem: In the Woody Shrub section, describes the unique features of the stem.
Leaves: Describes the unique features of the leaves.
Flowers: Describes the unique features of the flowers.
Flowering Period: Describes the time of year in which the flowers bloom.
Fruit: Describes the unique features of the fruit.
Twigs: In the Woody Shrub and Tree sections, describes the unique features of the twigs.
Value: Explains the worth of the plant to the other members of the ecosystem.
Similar Species: Describes the unique features to help distinguish this plant from others. Additional information about some of the related plants is also provided.

In addition, appendices to this field guide include:
Appendix A: Other Helpful Field Guides
Appendix B: Glossary of Terms
Appendix C: Leaf Shapes and Arrangements
Appendix D: Native Shoreland/Riparian Buffer Plantings for New Hampshire

Should anyone have any comments/suggestions for a second edition (most likely next summer), please let me know and I’d be happy to consider them.


Jen Drociak
Volunteer River Assessment Program Coordinator
NH Department of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive – PO Box 95
Concord, NH 03302
p- (603) 271-0699 f-(603) 271-7894

“People today recognize fewer than 10 plants but over 1000 corporate logos” – AdBusters