Each aquatic community has a variety of plants which provide shelter and food for many of the animals living in the community, and add oxygen to the water. Some of these plants grow along the water's edge, such as this pickerelweed (right). Other plants grow out of the water and are called emergents.

Some emergents are broadleaf arrowhead (right), named for the shape of its leaf, and soft rush (below).

Other aquatic plants have adapted so that their leaves float on the surface of the water. These plants, such as the floating pondweeds (left),
spatter dock (below),

and duckweed (below) tend to occur in ponds and in backwaters of streams and rivers where there is little or no current.

A third group of plants grow completely submerged under the surface of the water. The roots of this water milfoil (left) anchor it into the bottom of the pond.

Coontail (below), also a submerged plant, is a bit different. Often it isn't rooted to the ground.

Drawing adapted from Pond & Brook, by M.J. Caduto, 1990, University Press of New England, by Susanne Reed.