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A common filamentous alga that has spirals of chloroplasts within each cell. These algae can be found floating or submersed and are often tangled with other alga or plants. Spirogyra is bright green early in the season, but can darken or fade over time. When held, it feels very slippery, and individual strands can be detected.
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There are many species of Spirogyra, and as a result they can grow in all types of water and habitats. These algae can quickly clog waterways due to a fast growth habit. An abundance of these algae can also negatively affect the taste of drinking water, interfere with recreation, and provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Spirogyra may be one of the first filamentous algae to start growing in the spring.
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.
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