Aquatic plants ›
A rootless, submerged perennial with one main (highly-branched) stem. Attaches to sediment by rhizoids.
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May be found in dense colonies. Prefers shallow, clear water; however, it is very adaptable and can also be found in fast-moving water.
Stiff, whorled, and divided into narrow segments. The leaves are more crowded at the tips of the plant (making the tips darker), which gives it the appearance of a raccoon's tail.
Chara may appear similar, but typically has a musty odor not present with coontail. Also, when the stem of chara is broken, it collapses, but when the stem of coontail is broken, it remains rigid.
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.