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Fringed water lily is very similar to marshwort. The main difference is its leaves, which are frequently purple underneath and have scalloped margins. The flowers are golden-yellow, five-petalled and 3-4 cm in diameter, and are held above the water surface on long stalks, with one to several flowers per stalk. However, the flower edges are distinctively fringed and solid (rather than having hair-like processes). It also produces fruit, which is a capsule up to 2.5 cm long containing numerous seeds. These seeds are flat, oval and about 3.5 mm long, with hairy edges.
Dense vegetation blocks waterways impeding drainage, disrupting recreational activities, choking hydro turbines. Out-competes native species.