North America

General description

Submerged, bottom-rooting freshwater, aquatic < 5 m tall. Leaves are in whorls of three. Flowers are small, white/purple, five-petalled and borne at water’s surface November – January.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell elodea on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group, or outside of secure containment within the Auckland region.
  • You must not plant elodea on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group.
  • You must not plant elodea outside of secure containment within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • You must destroy any elodea on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.
If you see elodea anywhere on Aotea/Great Barrier Island group, please report it to Auckland Council at pestfree@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Still and slow-moving water bodies < 10 m deep.

Vegetative spread from stem fragments. Human-mediated dispersal through contamination of machinery and fishing equipment and deliberate releases.

Can reduce flow velocity and impede gas exchange in freshwater ecosystems, lowering dissolved oxygen levels and increasing sedimentation. May impede water flow in drains, exacerbating flooding.

Site Management

Very difficult to control once established.

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: Pull out

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical


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.

Similar species

Egeria densa

Egeria usually has leaves in whorls of 4 around stem. Canadian pondweed has whorls of 3.

Lagarosiphon major

Lagarosiphon has leaves that curl downwards and are arranged in opposite pairs.

Search tags

RPMP status

Aotea (Exclusion)
Whole region (Sustained Control)
Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
Elodea - Main species image