Scientific name: Limnocharis flava
Declaration status: Class C

Also known as yellow burrhead.

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.

Two recent infestations of limnocharis in the Northern Territory (NT) have been removed from cultivation.

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 established infestations of limnocharis in the NT.

Infestations in northern Australia have generally been limited to ornamental ponds. However, there are 3 known infestations in natural waterways in Queensland. The level of threat posed by limnocharis has triggered a call for national eradication.

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 destroying freshwater wetlands
  • form dense choking infestations that block waterways and reduce water quality
  • increase water loss through evaporation
  • reduce water storage capacity of dams and interfere with irrigation
  • restrict recreational activities including swimming, fishing and boating
  • provide a suitable habitat for mosquito breeding

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
  • velvety 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 - leaves Limnocharis - flower

If you are unsure, contact the Weed Management Branch.

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: 07 October 2022

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