(Cabomba caroliniana)

Status of cabomba in TasmaniaFanwort, photo: Graves-Lovell

  • Cabomba is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of cabomba are prohibited in Tasmania.
  • The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with cabomba are laid out in the Cabomba Statutory Weed Management Plan.

What does cabomba look like?

  • Cabomba is a mostly submersed aquatic perennial herb usually rooted in bottom mud but which can survive free-floating in deep water. The stems are slender, much branched from near the base, and covered with a thin jelly-like coating. The leaves are of two types. The submerged leaves are opposite or arranged in whorls and finely dissected to form a fan shape. The floating leaves are few, narrow and around 2 cm long. The flowers are white or cream, often with a pink tinge at the tip and two yellow spots at the base of each petal. The flowers float on the water surface.
  • Spread is by stem fragments and possibly by seed. Cabomba is a popular aquarium plant, and has been spread as discarded aquarium plants.
Fanwort flower, photo: Troy Evans
Image top right: Cabomba stems and leaves, photo: Graves-Lovell
Image above: Cabomba flower, photo: Troy Evans

Impacts of cabomba

  • Cabomba is a weed of irrigation channels and ditches.

Where does cabomba occur?

  • Cabomba is a native of North America. On mainland Australia, fanwort has naturalised in New South Wales and Queensland.
  • Cabomba has not naturalised in Tasmania. However, the plant has been recorded in aquaria in the state.

What you need to do

  • If you locate cabomba anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be cabomba, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777 to report this weed.

See also
Cabomba Statutory Weed Management Plan
Weed Links and Resources

Other useful links
Pest Genie
Weeds in Australia - Weed Management Guide

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