How Can I Help?

You can help discover hydrilla in three easy steps -- here's how!

1. Learn to identify hydrilla


Reproduced below is a portion of the Hydrilla ID Sheet for Illinois. Hydrilla leaves are arranged in a "whorl" (a series of leaves that grow around the stem at the same height).  Also shown are two look-alike plants: Brazilian elodea (another invasive plant), and American elodea (a desirable native plant).  If this all seems a bit complicated, just remember that if the plant has more than three leaves per whorl -- and the leaves have noticeably toothed edges -- then you have probably found hydrilla!



Hydrilla verticillata, David Webb, Tennessee Valley Authority

photo courtesy Michael J. Grodowitz, U.S. Army Engineer Research & Develop. Center


In the photos below, notice the toothed edges of hydrilla leaves, as well as the whorls of more than three leaves.

photos courtesy Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft.,



Hydrilla produces tubers that grow in the sediment of lakes and streams. Each tuber can produce a new plant. The tubers are less than 1/2 inch long and can remain alive for many years.  NOTE: Brazilian elodea and American elodea do not produce tubers.


2. Keep a sharp lookout for this plant at your local lake, pond, or river!


3. Report what you've found!

If you think you have found hydrilla, please use your phone or digital camera to take one or two close up photos of a plant stem on a light-colored background (then discard the plant fragment in the trash). Please email your photos to us at and include a brief description of where it was found (e.g., county, lake, boat ramp, etc.). We will acknowledge receipt of your email and let you know what we see. If you're not able to send us a digital picture, email us and we will contact you. Thanks!


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