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Cabomba is a perennial fully submerged aquatic plant. It can be either free floating or attached to the waterway floor. It does well in both cool and warm waters. Stems grow up to 10 metres long and stems and leaves have a thin gelatinous coating.

Leaves are submerged and have a 3 centimetre stalk. They are arranged opposite each other on the stem and repeatedly divided to form feathery, fan-shaped structures up to 5 centimetres across.

Flowers grow above the water surface and usually have white or cream petals with a yellow base, but this may vary. It flowers during summer and autumn from December to May.

Habitat it grows in ponds, lakes, dams and slow moving streams. Weed characteristics its rapid growth allows it to dominate native vegetation and obstruct waterways. Cabomba quickly forms a dense monoculture choking out native plants, birds, fish and reptiles.

Dispersal it generally roots in water 1 to 3 metres deep but can continue to grow free floating if uprooted.

Declaration Details

This species is a Class 2 declared plant under Queensland legislation and is listed as a Weed of National Significance.

How to act

Best form of control is prevention. Mechanical removal is the only widespread treatment, however this is costly. Hand pulling by divers can be effective for small infestations. Draining the water from the infected area can be effective if area dries out completely, but take care not to allow plant fragments to enter any other water body. Shading out is effective to control small areas, with revegetation of riparian areas a good long term solution. Chemical control has been carried out successfully in some areas but high risk of off target species impacts and water quality issues.

Refer to Weed Control Methods.


Related information

Cabomba © NQ Dry Tropics 2011
Cabomba © NQ Dry Tropics 2011

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