Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Coontail, Hornwort
Ceratophyllum demersum

Family: Ceratophyllaceae
Genus: Ceratophyllum (ser-at-oh-FILL-um) (Info)
Species: demersum (Dem-er-sum) (Info)

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ponds and Aquatics

6-12 in. (15-30 cm)
12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)
36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)
12-15 in. (30-38 cm)
15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From leaf cuttings
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Click thumbnail
to view:

By bonitin
Thumbnail #1 of Ceratophyllum demersum by bonitin

By bonitin
Thumbnail #2 of Ceratophyllum demersum by bonitin

By Zaragoza
Thumbnail #3 of Ceratophyllum demersum by Zaragoza


4 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Opoetree On Dec 29, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

I collected this plant from Lake Casitas (was floating on top of the water) in Oak View, California. I added it to my aquarium and it has grown very well. I also have anacharis.

Positive JoieM On Jun 10, 2006, JoieM from Portland, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

I credit this plant with finally clearing the "muddy" water in my pond, but it spreads like crazy. I started with three small plants. Within about a month, I seem to have 4-5 very large ones.

Positive easter0794 On Jan 4, 2003, easter0794 from Seffner, FL wrote:

I confused this with parrot feather but it doesn't grow above pond water level. Just let it float. My gold fish breed in it. It provide great oxygen and algae control for the pond and aquarium.

Positive mystic On Nov 5, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:

This is a submerged rootless water plant. Has delicate fern like foliage. Makes a good oxygenator for a home water garden. It does spread freely. If you want more just break off a piece and float it in the water it will soon start to grow.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Vincent, Alabama
Oak View, California
Chicago, Illinois
Cleveland, Ohio
Portland, Oregon

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