Aquarium and Pond Plants of the World (APPW) was developed by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Identification Technology Program (ITP) as part of a cooperative agreement with North Carolina State University (first edition), and in collaboration with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) (second edition). ITP is within Science and Technology (S&T, formerly Center for Plant Health Science and Techonology, or CPHST), the scientific support arm of the Plant Protection and Quarantine division of USDA APHIS. Former CPHST National Science Program Leader (now retired) Daniel Fieselmann and ITP coordinator Terrence Walters oversaw tool development.

Ronald Stinner and the NCSU Center for Integrated Pest Management (CIPM) were instrumental in facilitating the development of APPW (first edition). Edition 2.0 was made possible by the consistent support provided to the authors at CDFA’s Plant Pest Diagnostics Center (PPDC), under the direction of Umesh Kodira and in particular at PPDC’s Seed Lab, under the direction of Deborah Meyer. Edition 2.1 was completed by Amanda Redford (ITP) and Brandon Dewey (Colorado State University).

Critical evaluation and feedback from peer and end-user reviews of draft versions of APPW were essential in producing a quality product. For the first edition, thanks to Larry Fowler (CPHST), Robert Haynes (University of Alabama), Surrey Jacobs (Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney), Alexander Krings (North Carolina State University Herbarium), Polly Lehtonen (APHIS), Janice Swab (Meredith College), and Kevin Thiele (Centre for Biological Information Technology (CBIT)) for their reviews, and to Bruce Hanson, Charles Niautou and Adrian Tappin for helpful comments. For Edition 2.0, thanks to Lars Anderson (University of California, Davis), David Bergendorf (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service), David Bitzel (APHIS), Nehalem Breiter (CPHST), Vickie Brewster (APHIS), Surrey Jacobs (Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney), Dean Kelch (PPDC), and Terrence Walters (CPHST) for in-depth and thorough reviews, and to Cheryl Blomquist, Kevin Downing, Chris Fernandez, and Don Joley (all of PPDC) for beta testing the interactive identification key.

Thank you to those who provided plant specimens, or access to plants, to photograph, especially: Robert Olesen (U.S.), Brad McLane of Florida Aquatic Nurseries (U.S.), and Andrew Fraser and Andrea King of Pisces Enterprises (Australia).

Gerhard Keuck (Germany) kindly permitted use of images of scanned plates from "Carl Axel Magnus Lindman: Bilder ur Nordens Flora (1901-1905)."

Many high quality line drawings from the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants were used, with permission, to illustrate many genera in APPW.

Thanks to Yu Takeushi (APHIS) for help with language translations and Heather Hartzog (APHIS) for help with line drawings.

Arthur O. Tucker (Delaware State University) generously provided information and clarified nomenclature for the genus Mentha, in particular Mentha aquatica, and determined the identity of numerous digital photographs.

Dean Kelch (botanist, CDFA-PPDC) deserves particular mention for consistently offering advice and expertise in response to frequent questions regarding taxonomic and morphological problems, throughout the development of APPW, Edition 2.0. His input was crucial to the advancement and completion of this edition.

A special thank you to Damian Barnier, Geoff Norton, Mathew Taylor, and Kevin Thiele (all of CBIT) for their help and guidance during development and publication of APPW. Matt and Damian in particular were outstanding for their consistent, expert technical support, and seemingly limitless patience.

Shaun has a last, very important thank you: to my wife Ann Marie, for her patience during development of this tool, especially her tolerance of my constantly leaping out of almost-stopped vehicles to wade into boggy ditches to photograph “one more aquatic plant.”

For more information, questions, or comments, please contact Julia Scher at

Image credits

Many of the digital photographs, drawings, and plates in APPW are used with the permission of the copyright owners, who are acknowledged in image captions. Thanks are due to the following photographers, organizations, and/or businesses who generously allowed use of their digital images (see the copyright notice for information about use of images and other content):

  • Lubomir Adamec, Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences (Czech Republic)
  • William Alverson, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point (U.S.)
  • Tom Anderson, Queensland Dept of Natural Resources (Australia)
  • Australian National Botanical Garden (ANBG) (Australia):
  • M. Fagg
  • R. Hotchkiss
  • J. Wrigley
  • Thomas Barr (U.S.)
  • H. Barth
  • Jan D. Bastmeijer, the crypts pages (Netherlands)
  • Mauro Bergamo, Water Plants Italy
  • Peter Bradley (United Kingdom)
  • Gerald Carr, University of Hawaii (currently at Oregon State University)
  • John Carter, Rowden Gardens (UK)
  • Cathy's Aquaria
  • Sow-Yan Chan, (Singapore)
  • Eng Chuah (Australia)
  • Jack Kelly Clark, University of California, Davis
  • John Clayton, National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, New Zealand (NIWS)
  • Michael Clayton, University of Wisconsin, Madison (U.S.)
  • Dr. G. Dallas and Margaret Hanna, California Academy of Sciences
  • Paul Davison (U.S.)
  • Shirley Denton, ISB Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
  • Olaf Deters, Aquaristik ohne Geheimnisse (Germany)
  • Steve Dixon, San Francisco Bay Area Aquarium Plant Society (SFBAAPS)
  • Phil. Edwards (U.S.)
  • Hans Erken, Earthcare Enterprises (Australia)
  • David Fenwick, A Photo Flora of the Devon and Cornwall Peninsula (UK)
  • David Ferguson, British Wild Flowers
  • Flora of Northern Ireland: Roy Anderson, Graham Day, Ian Dodkins, Paul Hackney, Alan Hill
  • Florida Aquatic Nurseries
  • From (U.S.): Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service; John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University; Chris Evans, The University of Georgia; Mary Ellen (Mel) Harte; Amy Ferriter, South Florida Water Management District; Albert (Bud) Mayfield, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut; James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service; J. Jeffrey Mullahey, University of Florida; Rachel Woodfield, Merkel & Associates, Inc.; USDA APHIS Archives, USDA APHIS
  • Robin Foster, The Field Museum (U.S.)
  • Alison Fox, University of Florida, IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
  • Neil Frank (U.S.)
  • Andy Fyon, Andy's Northern Ontario Wildflowers (Canada)
  • Chuck Gadd (U.S.)
  • Bruce Hansen (Australia)
  • Allen Hsu, I Own Pets (Singapore)
  • Neils Jacobson
  • Collete Jacono, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Mic Julien, CSIRO - Entomology (Australia)
  • W.S. Justice, Smithsonian Institution, Botany (U.S.)
  • Ilkka Kallio, SFBAAPS
  • Dean Kelch, CDFA Plant Pest Diagnostics Center
  • Oliver Knott, Tropica Aquarium Plants (Denmark)
  • Kit Knotts, Ben Knotts, Victoria Adventure (U.S.)
  • Oliver Krause, Fa. Hans Barth Dessau (Germany)
  • Henriette Kress,
  • L. Krumfolz, University of Florida, IFAS
  • Linda Lee, University of South Carolina Herbarium (U.S.)
  • Erik Leung (SFBAAPS), e-aquaria
  • Charles Lewallen (U.S.)
  • J.K. Lindsey
  • J.P. Lonchamp, HYPPA
  • Cliff Lundberg, SFBAAPS
  • Steve Matson
  • Hilario Medina, Hilario web (France)
  • Merebrook Pond Plants (UK)
  • Missouri Botanical PlantFinder, Missouri Botanical Garden (U.S.)
  • Robert H. Mohlenbrock, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  • Donald Myrick, California Academy of Sciences
  • Fred Nation, Institute of Systematic Botany (ISB) Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants
  • National Botanical Institute (South Africa)
  • Sheldon Navie (Australia)
  • Charles Niautou, Australian and New Guinea Fishes
  • Miguel A. Pandini (Brazil)
  • Paul Parsons (New Zealand)
  • Paul's Plants (U.S.)
  • J.S. Peterson, USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
  • Romaric Pierrel, Jardin Botanique du Montet (France)
  • PLANTS Database, USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Tim Plowman, The Field Museum (U.S.)
  • Pond Mart Pond Supplies
  • Pond Pleasers
  • Craig Presnell, Luster Aquatic Nursery (on Victoria Adventure) (U.S.)
  • Nick Proulx, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (U.S.)
  • John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy (U.S.)
  • Rayon Vert Aqua (Japan)
  • Paul Redfearn, Ozarks Regional Herbarium, Missouri State University (U.S.)
  • Barry Rice, and Galleria Carnivora (U.S.)
  • Scott Roth (U.S.)
  • Michael Rubin, SFBAAPS
  • San Francisco Bay Area Aquarium Plant Society (SFBAAPS) (U.S.).
  • David Scherberich, Araceae (France)
  • Thomas Schöpke, Plant Image Gallery at (Germany)
  • R. Scribailo, Purdue University (U.S.)
  • David G. Smith, Delaware Wildflowers (U.S.)
  • Jeri Jewett-Smith
  • B. Steury, Smithsonian Institution, Botany (U.S.)
  • Malcolm Storey,
  • Roland Strößner
  • Kurt Stüber, Online Library of Biological Books (Germany)
  • David Sutton, University of Florida
  • Adrian Tappin (Australia)
  • Ian Telford and Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) (Australia)
  • Dan Tenaglia, HARP, (U.S.)
  • Texas A&M University (TAMU), Digital Flora of Texas, Vascular Plant Image Library (U.S.):
  • James R. Manhart, TAMU Herbarium
  • Hugh Wilson, TAMU Herbarium
  • Terra Theim, The Field Museum (U.S.)
  • Robert Thompson, Mount Allison University (U.S.)
  • Tropica Aquarium Plants (Denmark)
  • Garet Uemura (U.S.)
  • University of Florida IFAS, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (U.S.)
  • Werner Wallner (on Victoria Adventure)
  • Jared Weinberger (U.S.)
  • Brian Williams, Brian's Aroids (U.S.)
  • Dave Wilson (Australia)
  • Rachel Woodfield, Merkel & Associates, Inc. (U.S.)
  • John Wright, Wildflowers of Ontario (Canada)
  • Kazuo Yamasaki, Plant Photo Gallery (Japan)
  • Li Zhang, Southern Illinois University (U.S.)