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Water Chestnut (Trapa natans)

Posted on Jul 11, 2014

Today’s invasive is an aquatic plant that goes by the name of water chestnut (Trapa natans), and no it is not the kind you might enjoy with a meal. This particular plant has a good habit of taking over water bodies and slow moving streams where it will form dense mats. These mats will prevent sunlight from reaching native aquatic vegetation growing beneath, resulting in the death of the plants and loss of diversity. Water chestnut can also have a negative impact on fish as the invader will decrease the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water as the mats die back in the fall. Last,  but not least, these fiendish looking water chestnut nutlets can also cause physical harm to larger mammals, including humans, as stepping on the sharp pointed fruits can really hurt!Water Chestnut (Trapa natans)