Elodea is a genus of 6 species of aquatic plants often called the waterweeds described as a genus in 1803. Classified in the frog’s-bit family (Hydrocharitaceae), Elodea is native to the Americas and is also widely used as aquarium vegetation and laboratory demonstrations of cellular activities. It lives in fresh water. An older name for this genus is Anacharis, which serves as a common name in North America. The American water weed lives entirely underwater with the exception of small white flowers which bloom at the surface and are attached to the plant by delicate stalks. It produces winter buds from the stem tips that overwinter on the lake bottom. It also often overwinters as an evergreen plant in mild climates. In the Autumn, leafy stalks will detach from the parent plant, float away, root, and start new plants. This is the American water weed's most important method of spreading, while seed production plays a relatively minor role.