About Aquarium and Pond Plants of the World

Aquarium and Pond Plants of the World (APPW) was developed by the Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST) 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) (this Edition 2.0).

CPHST is the scientific support organization for the Plant Protection and Quarantine division of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). CPHST National Science Program Leader Daniel Fieselmann and CPHST Lucid 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 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.

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 Julia.L.Scher@aphis.usda.gov.


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):