This is a perennial, free floating aquatic fern.
Leaves are small, narrow, spongy, bright green and oval in pairs along the stem. The
surface is covered with long, stiff, hairs. When the plant matures the leaves become
thick and fold at the midrib. Young leaves are oval, about 1 centimetre wide and lie
flat on the water surface.
Roots trail from each pair of young leaves. As it matures, the roots resemble wet
hair. Trailing stems with small, hairy spore capsules may also be found in the roots of
Flowers are not produced by this weed, reproducing only by vegetative means.
Habitat it prefers slow moving streams or still water ponds with high nutrient levels
and water temperatures around 20 to 30 ˚C.
Weed characteristics it can rapidly form mats that cover water storages, affecting
water quality and flow, wildlife, irrigation, stock feeding, and recreational activities.
The mats also create a haven for mosquitoes.
Dispersal under optimal conditions, it can double in size every two to three days.
How to act
Prevention is the best control method. Early detection and rapid response will provide the best chance of control. Mechanical or hand removal of infestations is recommended with ongoing monitoring and follow up required. Biological control agent is highly effective when plant is actively growing. Apply herbicide strictly as per label recommendations.
Refer to Weed Control Methods.
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