The Who’s Who Of Lake Scugog

The Scugog Lake Stewards get a lot of
questions about different types of plants in Lake Scugog, so we’re gonna go
through some of the major players of weedy spaghetti in the lake.
Milfoil – Latin name: Myriophyllum. We have two major kinds in Lake Scugog; the
common native species and the Eurasian non-native species.
So this is a fragment of Eurasian milfoil, the non-native type of milfoil.
As you can see, these leaflets branch out of the stem in a whirl shape and if you
look closely each leaf has a number of leaflets. In
Eurasian milfoil it has usually between nine and fourteen leaflets, which is more
than the native species of milfoil. You also know it’s Eurasian milfoil because
of the pink stem which is more red towards the top. Milfoil can actually
reproduce from fragments so you can see how it can spread quite rapidly. Coontail – Ceratophyllum demersum. This plant can look a lot like milfoil. The leaves
branch off the main stem in a whirl, but unlike milfoil, which divides into many
leaflets, coontail only divides one or two times. It’s also greener and firmer
in texture. Canadian Water Weed – Elodea canadensis. is a native species to North
America but it can be considered invasive in other parts of the world. This plant also contains leaves that whirl around the stem that can be bright
green and firmer in texture. Usually about three leaves per whirl. The pond
weeds, also known scientifically as Potamogetons. There are many different kinds
in Lakes Scugog, but usually they can have different shapes of leaves and
their larger structure provides excellent habitat for fish. We have large-leaf pondweed, which is a native species, but we also have curly-leaf pondweed,
which is a non-native species. And if you look closely you can
see that the leaf sort of wraps around the stem here clasping onto the stem.
It’s also called clasping pondweed. Bladderworts – Utricularia, which is
an insectivorous plant which means it actually eats insects. And it does that
with these little bladders and that’s what it uses to capture tiny bugs.
Aquatic buttercup – Latin name: Ranunculus And I like this Latin name because it
sounds like a Harry Potter wizard spell. This little plant can form little yellow
or white flowers that pop up above the water column. And below the water the
plant looks a lot like myriophyllum or milfoil. Water lilies – there are two main
kinds: white water lily and yellow water lily. The white being called Nymphaea
odorata and the yellow being called Nuphar varigatum. It’s easier to tell
apart by the colour of the flower, but you can also tell them apart by the shape of
their leaves. White water lily is more rounded with a sharp v-shaped cut out of
it whereas yellow water lily is more oval-shaped. If you look out at the water
and you see a lot of water lilies you’ll find that the water is usually pretty
clear whereas if you look at a lake that doesn’t have a lot of plants and things
like water lilies you might see more algae. This is because water lilies and
other plants are really excellent at maintaining good water quality. They also
provide good habitat for fish and wildlife. So those are just a few of the
amazing plants found in Lake Scugog. There are many more… Ranunculus!

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