Water Plantain

Africa, Australia, Eurasia

General description

Emergent, perennial aquatic herb < 1 m tall. Leaves are basal, < 10 x 20 cm and broad ovate, with a long petiole. Flowers are pale lilac/pink/red/white and borne on large, multi-branched panicles in summer. Achenes are held in a dense circular head and produced in summer – autumn.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell water plantain on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.
  • You must not plant water plantain on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.
Auckland Council will control water plantain at all sites within the Aotea/Great Barrier Island group where it is known to occur.

If you see water plantain anywhere on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group, please report it to Auckland Council at pestfree@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Still or slow-moving water body margins, wetlands.

Seeds dispersed by waterfowl and water movement.

Potential to displace native species. Impedes water flow and traps debris, causing silt build-up. May exacerbate flooding.

Site Management

Consider engaging an aquatic pest plant control operator. Contact Auckland Council for control options.

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group. Please report to Auckland Council if seen on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray of 100 ml glyphosate green per 10 L of water

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Search tags

RPMP status

Aotea (Eradication)
Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
Water plantain - Main species image