Zostera japonica

Photo courtesy: California Sea Grant

Synonyms: Nanozostera japonica (Asch. & Graebn.) P. Toml. & U. Posl.

Common names: dwarf eelgrass; Japanese eelgrass

Zostera japonica (=Nanozostera japonica, dwarf eelgrass) is an aquatic plant that forms dense stands in shallow, sheltered bays and estuaries. Populations of Z. japonica have been found in Humboldt County. Z. japonica often invades areas with little or no natural or human disturbance and also shows a positive relationship with disturbance. Z. japonica lives as an annual, overwintering as buried seeds, or a short-lived perennial. It reproduces vegetatively through rhizomatous cloning and sexually through seed production. The dispersal of the seeds, both within and between estuaries, may be aided by waterfowl species.  Z. japonica has been shown to rapidly expand in the spring and summer.

Cal-IPC Rating: Moderate — Alert?

CDFA Rating: -*?


Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Weed Management Notes

No Weed RIC Management Notes are available for this species. Check for information on other species in the genus on the Weed RIC site.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

There are no newsletter articles associated with this species yet.

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

There are no Symposium presentations associated with this species yet.

Other Zostera japonica Information

  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.