Skip to main content

Logo for N.C. Cooperative Extension N.C. Cooperative Extension Homepage

Aquatic, Wetland, and Invasive Plants

Stop the spread of Aquatic WeedsWhat IS that plant??

Have you ever seen a plant in a pond and thought “Gee, that looks nice. I think I’ll take a piece home with me!”

STOP!! Wait! That plant may be an invasive species or even on the Federal Noxious Weed list. Some of the plants are quite attractive; however, they can make Kudzu look like a slow grower. Give them an inch, and they will take over the entire pond, the neighbor’s pond, and then start on the local waterways.

What plants are these? Well, there are several very good websites with information about the various plants, plus how to identify them:

NCSU Aquatic Weed Factsheets

Aquatic plants of Texas

Federal Noxious Aquatic Weeds Poster

Not all aquatic plants are bad….but do you know the difference?

AQUATIC PLANT MANAGEMENT LINKS is a good site to find additional information about aquatic plant. The Aquatic & Shoreling Plant Selection publication by Clemson University is quite good; it discusses both invasive and beneficial plants.

Do you have too much of a good thing and want to know how to get rid of it…or at least control it better? The Aquatic Plant Management website has several useful guides. For example, Weed Management in Small Ponds lets you know the relative effectiveness of mechanical removal, biological control, and chemical control on a
particular plant.

There’s an app for that! NCSU has an aquatic plant identification app. You can download it to your device from the app store.

Mother Nature put to work

Several of these plants have a history of use in water treatment. Water hyacinth has been used to remove heavy metals from industrial wastewater. Cattails, Arrowhead, and other plants not mentioned here have been used in constructed wetlands for the treatment of landfill leachate, municipal waste, and agricultural waste. Eastern North Carolina is home to several wetland projects:

City of Goldsboro project

New Hanover County Landfill Constructed Wetlands project

Who named these things!?!

Alligatorweed, Coontail, Parrotfeather, Duckweed, Lizard’s tail, Duck potato… there’s even a Marsh Mallow!

Dr. Diana Rashash
Area Specialized Agent – Water Quality & Waste Management
4024 Richlands Hwy.
Jacksonville, NC 28540
(910) 455-5873