Limnocharis

Scientific name: Limnocharis flava
Also known as yellow burrhead  
Declaration status: Class C.

The native range of limnocharis extends from Mexico to Bolivia, Paraguay and northern Argentina. From its native range, limnocharis has moved into parts of south-east Asia, Africa and the south Pacific.

It is thought that limnocharis may have been spread inadvertently through contaminated imports of rice and intentionally for ornamental purposes.

Limnocharis has now entered northern Australia.

There are no known infestations of limnocharis in the Northern Territory (NT), but it has occurred in ornamental ponds several times in the past and is known in several locations in Queensland.

Limnocharis presents a serious agricultural and biodiversity threat to northern Australia and has the potential to invade wetlands, rivers and dams displacing native aquatic plants and animals.

Specifically limnocharis colonises shallow freshwater wetlands and margins of deeper waterways.

There are no known occurrences of Limnocharis in the NT.

Infestations in northern Australia have generally been limited to ornamental ponds. However, there are three known infestations in natural waterways in Queensland. The level of threat posed by Limnocharis has triggered a call for national eradication.

Impact

Limnocharis poses a significant risk if it was to become established in NT waterways.

Limnocharis can have all of the following impacts:

  • replace native plants
  • form dense choking infestations.

Identification

You should use this as a guide. There may be other plants or weeds that look similar.

  • aquatic plant grows to 20cm to 100cm tall
  • distinctive, triangular leaf and flower stalks
  • petioles 5cm to 75cm long
  • leaf blades 5cm to 30cm long and 4cm to 25cm wide
  • 'octopus’ like cup shaped groups of 5 to 15 flowers at the end of long stems
  • individual flowers are small with three yellow lobes held up while flowering but bend and droop back into the mud or water after fruiting
  • spherical, compound fruit 1.5cm to 2cm diameter
  • contain many dark brown horseshoe shaped seeds 1mm to 1.5mm long

Limnocharis - habit Limnocharis - stems and branches Limnocharis - leavesLimnocharis - flower

If you are unsure, contact the Weed Management Branch.

Control

If you think you may have seen limnocharis, or have this weed on your property, do not attempt to control it. Contact the Weed Management Branch immediately for assistance.

Last updated: 12 May 2018