Vascular – Native
Herbs - Monocots
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
2n = 28
Current conservation status
The threat classification status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Not Threatened | Qualifiers: SO
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Indigenous. New Zealand: North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands. Also Australia.
Coastal to montane - but mostly found in coastal and lowland areas. A common plant of ponds, lake margins and slowly flowing streams. Also colonising roadside ditches. rarely found in muddy hollows within forest.
Wetland plant indicator status rating
Information derived from the revised national wetland plant list prepared to assist councils in delineating and monitoring wetlands (Clarkson et al., 2021 Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research Contract Report LC3975 for Hawke’s Bay Regional Council). The national plant list categorises plants by the extent to which they are found in wetlands and not ‘drylands’. The indicator status ratings are OBL (obligate wetland), FACW (facultative wetland), FAC (facultative), FACU (facultative upland), and UPL (obligate upland).
OBL: Obligate Wetland
Almost always is a hydrophyte, rarely in uplands (non-wetlands).
Aquatic, submerged or floating, rhizomatous sparsely branched perennial herb. Rhizomes rooting at nodes and producing mostly simple leafy branches; these ultimately water surface. Stipules membranous, free, open. Leaves dimorphic. Submersed leaves usually rather distant, usually shortly petiolate; lamina c. 40–100 × 5–15 mm, narrowly elliptic, entire, subacute, delicate, ± translucent, longitudinal nerves c. 5–11, irregularly joined by cross veins. Floating leaves often long-petiolate; lamina 20–40 × 10–25 mm, broad oblong-oval, entire, usually quite obtuse, firm and opaque, longitudinal nerves 10–15, laterals emerging from petiole rather than from midrib. Inflorescence a densely flowered spike, 10-25 mm long. Peduncles in axils of floating leaves, stout, erect, usually projecting above surface of water at flower, submersed in fruit. Achene c.2.5 × 1.5 mm, green, green-brown or brown, moderately flattened with rather strongly 3-ridged keel and short straight beak.
Distinguished from Potamogeton suboblongus by the strongly dimorphic foliage (i.e. clear distinction between submerged and emergent leaves), by the narrowly elliptic, ± translucent submerged leaves; floating leaves which are mostly broad-oval, with obtuse apices, and which have usually 6 or less (rarely an unequal higher number) nerves on either side of midrib; and by the green, green-brown or brown, flattened achenes which are 3-keeled when dry. In its submerged state Potamogeton cheesemanii could be confused with P. ochreatus from which it differs by non-fibrous stipules, and submerged and emergent elliptic to broadly oval leaves with well separated rather than closely set longitudinal nerves.
November - March
December - March
Easily grown from rooted pieces and fresh seed, An attractive plant for a large pond or similar water body but inclined to become aggressive in fertile waters.
potamogeton: River dweller
cheesemanii: Named after Thomas Frederick Cheeseman (1846 - 15 October 1923) who was a New Zealand botanist and naturalist who, in 1906, produced The Manual of the New Zealand Flora.
Fact sheet prepared for NZPCN by P.J. de Lange (16 February 2012). Description adapted from Moore & Edgar (1970)
References and further reading
Moore, L.B.; Edgar, E. 1970: Flora of New Zealand. Vol. II. Government Printer, Wellington.
NZPCN Fact Sheet citation
Please cite as: de Lange, P.J. (Year at time of access): Potamogeton cheesemanii Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network. https://www.nzpcn.org.nz/flora/species/potamogeton-cheesemanii/ (Date website was queried)