Cabomba is a perennial fully submerged aquatic plant. It can be either free floating
or attached to the waterway floor. It does well in both cool and warm waters.
Stems grow up to 10 metres long and stems and leaves have a thin gelatinous
Leaves are submerged and have a 3 centimetre stalk. They are arranged opposite
each other on the stem and repeatedly divided to form feathery, fan-shaped
structures up to 5 centimetres across.
Flowers grow above the water surface and usually have white or cream petals
with a yellow base, but this may vary. It flowers during summer and autumn from
December to May.
Habitat it grows in ponds, lakes, dams and slow moving streams.
Weed characteristics its rapid growth allows it to dominate native vegetation and
obstruct waterways. Cabomba quickly forms a dense monoculture choking out
native plants, birds, fish and reptiles.
Dispersal it generally roots in water 1 to 3 metres deep but can continue to grow free floating if uprooted.
How to act
Best form of control is prevention. Mechanical removal is the only widespread treatment, however this is costly. Hand pulling by divers can be effective for small infestations. Draining the water from the infected area can be effective if area dries out completely, but take care not to allow plant fragments to enter any other water body. Shading out is effective to control small areas, with revegetation of riparian areas a good long term solution. Chemical control has been carried out successfully in some areas but high risk of off target species impacts and water quality issues.
Refer to Weed Control Methods.
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