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General Infomation

A coarse, submersed alga that resembles a vascular plant. It has a distinctive foul (musky garlic) odor when crushed. Cylindrical with whorls of 6 to 16 branchlets per node. Internodes consist of a single large cell. Each "stem" can vary in length from several inches to several feet long. The plant may also develop a calcified crust on the leaves that makes it crisp to the touch.

Biological Control

Biological Control of Aquatic Weeds with Triploid Grass Carp

Chara usually is beneficial to fish and wildlife.

Good to Excellent

Chemical Control

Herbicide, Formulation and Mode of Action Code
Amount of Formulation
Active Ingredient Rate or Concentration
Herbicide, Formulation and Mode of Action Code

copper complex (Cutrine-Plus Granular) 3.7 G (Cutrine-Plus) 0.9 lb/gal (K-Tea) 0.8 lb/gal

Amount of Formulation

60 lb/surface acre 1.2 gal/acre ft 1.7 to 3.4 gal/acre ft

Active Ingredient Rate or Concentration

2.2 lb/acre 0.4 ppm 0.5 to 1.0 ppm

Precaution and Remarks

Distribute granular formulation evenly over infested area when plants are young. If chara is in water less than 3 ft deep or growth is near the surface, the liquid formulation may be used. Dilute with water in ratio of at least 9-to-1 and apply uniformly. Warning: Copper is toxic to fish.


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Species Data


Grows entirely submersed in soils that vary from sandy to silty clay. Prefers shallow, slow-moving water with minimal disturbance and grows in very dense beds, which can exclude other submersed plants.

Similar Species

Nitella has forked branches and lacks the foul odor of Chara. Chara may also be confused with the vascular plant coontail, but coontail lacks the musky odor of Chara. Also, coontail internodes are made of multiple cells and, unlike Chara, will not collapse when broken.

Aquatic Plants App

Whether you're a professional botanist or a casual nature enthusiast, the NC State University (NCSU) Aquatic Weeds app has detailed information on a wide variety of aquatic weeds to assist in identification.