Also known as:
Killer Algae
Africa, Asia, Australia, North and South America, Oceania

General description

Seaweed < 2.8 m tall. Stolons are creeping and bear flattened, feather-like fronds with many pinnules. Pinnules are opposite, curve upwards and narrow at the tip.

What you need to know

Although caulerpa is not a legally declared pest plant, it may still be invasive in some situations. Consider lower risk alternatives for your garden, such as native plants.

Nutrient-rich waters, pristine waters, port and mooring facilities, tropical and temperate waters at a depth of < 100 m.

Vegetative spread from stolons and stolon fragments, dispersed by water. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of aquarium waste and movement of contaminated boats and fishing equipment.

Outcompetes and smothers seagrasses and other algae, altering habitat and native species diversity. Toxic and possibly allelopathic.

Site Management

Very difficult to control once established. Requires an aquatic pest plant control operator. Contact Auckland Council for control options.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Pull out

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts

Disposal options: Remove to landfill


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

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

Not a legally declared pest plant
Caulerpa - Main species image