Water Lettuce

Also known as:
Tropical Duckweed
Family:
Araceae
Origin:
Pantropical

General description

Perennial floating stoloniferous aquatic. Roots are feathery, clustered and < 45 cm long. Stolons are < 60 cm long and hairy. Leaves are light green, hairy, prominently ribbed, formed in lettuce-like rosettes and have wavy margins. Flowers are minute and borne in clusters within leaf axils. Fruits are small berries containing wrinkled disc-like seeds.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment:

  • You must not breed, distribute, release or sell water lettuce. As water lettuce is a National Pest Plant Accord species, these restrictions apply within the Auckland region and across the whole of New Zealand.
If you see water lettuce anywhere, you must report it to the Ministry of Primary Industries on 0800 80 99 66.

Still and slow-flowing water bodies, lakes, dams, rivers, ponds, streams.

Seeds dispersed by water and wind. Vegetative spread from stolons and budding. Human-mediated dispersal through dumping of aquarium or ornamental pond waste and movement of contaminated boats and equipment.

Forms dense mats, outcompeting native plants and reducing water quality. Clogs waterways, impeding drainage and recreational activities.

Site Management

Recommended approaches

Do not attempt to undertake control of this species. The Ministry of Primary Industries will carry out the control of 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


National Pest Plant Accord Species
Notifiable Organism
Water lettuce - Main species image