Eelgrass: A Beneficial MN Native Weed

What is Eel Grass?

Wild celery or Vallisneria Americana is a native weed found in many Minnesota lakes. The Wild Celery has several nicknames. Its nicknames include eelgrass, water celery, or tape grass. It is most commonly referred to as eelgrass. This weed is a type of flowering sea grass that has “long ribbon-like leaves”. You can typically find this weed in depths “up to 32 feet”.Because of this, it roots itself in mud sediments. Additionally, during warmer months, eelgrass produces a small yellowish-white flower. Soon after drifting pollen fertilizes the flowers and they continue on to produce reproductive shoots.

The benefits of eelgrass

In addition to being a native weed, eelgrass plays several important roles in lake ecosystems. As a result of removing this plant by the root, the process can harm the natural ecosystem. Firstly, one of the main roles of this plant is to help reduce coastal erosion. By growing in thick and dense beds, this weed is capable of trapping sediment and stabilizing substrates. Secondly, this weed serves as a shelter for young fish. Various young fish use this weed as a foraging ground and also a shelter. Lastly, by filtering polluted waters and being capable of trapping carbon dioxide, this weed promotes healthier lake waters.

Waterfront Restoration’s approach to dealing with eelgrass

Eelgrass was negatively impacted throughout the last decade. Despite its beneficial properties, human development and human pollution have negatively impacted the plant’s survival rates. Here at Waterfront Restoration, we understand the importance of MN native weeds and how they benefit our environment.

Although our business offers by-the-root weed removal to ensure the highest quality services, eelgrass is one of the two plants we don’t remove by the root. As a company, we work towards preserving native weeds to promote healthier ecosystems. This plant is capable of growing up to 3 feet tall. Its vast height is often a bother for some of our clients.  Instead of removing this weed by the root, we trim the plant down significantly so it is less bothersome for our customers. The plant is so short now that you won’t even feel it when swimming! Lastly, by trimming the plant instead of removing it we are conserving the weed’s natural benefits. Therefore, our method of dealing with this weed in turn promotes a healthier lake ecosystem.

Environmentally friendly lake weed control services are our specialty. Call (952) 356-0614 or email us today to schedule your free consultation!

Sources Cited

“Wild Celery (Vallisneria Americana).” Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,

“Vallisneria Americana (American Eelgrass).” Minnesota Wildflowers, 

Fisheries, NOAA. “The Importance of Eelgrass.” NOAA, 21 Apr. 2022, eelgrass#:~:text=Eelgrass%20provides%20a%20number%20of,such%20as%20the%20Pacific%20herring.