Water Poppy

South America

General description

Perennial aquatic herb. Stems are rubbery and creeping. Leaves are thick, glossy and float on the water’s surface. Flowers are yellow with a purple centre, < 8 cm in diameter and borne in late summer.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell water poppy. As water poppy is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
  • You must not plant water poppy within the Auckland region.
Auckland Council will control water poppy at all sites where it is known to occur.

If you see water poppy anywhere in the Auckland region, please report it to Auckland Council at pestfree@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Still or flowing water bodies < 2 m deep.

Vegetative spread from root fragments and new plantlets, dispersed by water movement. Human-mediated dispersal through deliberate plantings.

Aggressive coloniser that forms dense mats on water surface. Shades out submerged vegetation and restructures aquatic plant and invertebrate communities.

Site Management

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species. Please report to Auckland Council.

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

Similar species

fringed water lily
Nymphoides peltata

Fringed water lily lacks the inflated mid vein and has fringed petals.

yellow water lily
Nuphar lutea

Yellow water lily has thick spongy stolons and much larger leaves.

Nymphoides geminata

Marshwort lacks the inflated mid vein and has fringed petals.

Mexican water lily
Nymphaea mexicana

Mexican lily has larger leaves and lacks the inflated mid vein.

Search tags

RPMP status

Whole region (Eradication)
National Pest Plant Accord Species
Water poppy - Main species image