Brittle Naiad

Najas minor

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Submersed annual aquatic plant; stems of brittle naiad are highly branched and may grow to 4 ft. or more. Stems fragment very easily (“brittle” naiad). Leaves are opposite or whorled, often recurved, with noticeable teeth on edges; a bushy appearance to the plant.


Found in freshwater lakes, streams, rivers, ponds.

Location in Nebraska

Has been found in Nebraska. Found in Iowa, South Dakota, and most states in Eastern and Central U.S.

Pathway of Introduction and Spread

Introduced through the dumping of aquarium contents. It can spread between waters via plant fragments that attach to boats, trailers, and other equipment, which can give rise to new plants.


Thick infestations of can inhibit the growth of native aquatic vegetation and make fishing and recreational boating difficult. Brittle naiad plants are extremely brittle and have an increased risk of breaking apart, increasing the likelihood for it to spread via boats, waterfowl, and water movement.

Photo Credits: 

Robert H. Mohlenbrock, USDA, NRCS