Chara

Scientific name

Chara L.

Common names

muskgrass, stonewort

Family

Characeae

Could be confused with

Ceratophyllum, Najas, Nitella

Native distribution

cosmopolitan

Species commonly cultivated

Chara vulgaris L. (cosmopolitan)

Adventive distribution

none

Weed status

information not available

Habit

submersed, highly branched

Brief description

Macroscopic alga with cylindrical, hollow, stem-like branches and 6-16 whorled secondary branches at nodal regions. Bearing short or long stipulodes and bract cells. Branches ribbed. Oogonia produced in axils of branchlets.

Natural habitat

lakes, ponds, rivers

Additional comments

Chara and Nitella are freshwater, multicellular, branched macroalgae in the order Charales that are commonly confused with flowering aquatic plants. Chara can be distinguished from Nitella by its musky odor and gritty, bristly feel.