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Submerged, bottom-rooting perennial up to 5 m. Leaves (16 x 2 mm) have minute serrations along the edges, are arranged spirally around the stem, and are curved backwards or downwards. Tiny pinkish flowers are produced, but as only female plants are found in New Zealand, no seed is set.
Grows rapidly in moderate to well-lit submerged sites ranging from low to high temperature, is tall, long-lived and dense, and overtops smaller native species. Lacks native plant competitors of similar height in New Zealand. Stems break easily, and fragments root downstream or wherever they are dumped.
Freshwater weeds are difficult to eradicate once established, but are possible to control. Before you start thooughly check the waterway's adjacent areas and inflows to see if the infestation has spread.
As most aquatic weeds grow from fragments, start control at the upstream end of the infestation. In narrow waterways you can reduce the growth of aquatic weeds with riparian planting to reduce light levels.
Physical control (small infestations)
Herbicide control (large infestations)