Water poppy (Hydrocleys nymphoides)

Water poppy is a perennial aquatic plant, found in still to slow moving water bodies up to 1 metre deep. It can form dense infestations that choke waterways.

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How does this weed affect you?

Water poppy can form dense infestations that choke waterways, impacting native fauna and flora. Heavy infestations can decrease the recreational value of waterways and worsen flooding. 

Where is it found?

Water poppy is native to Central and South America, and was introduced to Australia as an ornamental pond plant. It has become naturalised in parts of Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji, New Caledonia, French Polynesia, and several states in the south of the United States of America.

In New South Wales water poppy has naturalised at Coffs Harbour, Albury and in the Port Hacking river in Sutherland shire.

How does it spread?

Water poppy spreads via stolons that take root in the soil at the nodes, and by the production of new plantlets that form and break away from the main plant.

What does it look like?

Water poppy is a perennial aquatic water plant.  The leaves are up to 12 cm across, heart-shaped to round, and shiny and dark green. The leaves can either float on the water surface or emerge above it.  Leaves and roots grow from nodes along the stem. Stems can be up to several metres long. The flowers are three-petalled, yellow and poppy-like, with a brownish-to-purple centre. Flowering occurs throughout summer and flowers protrude above the water surface. The seeds are small and horseshoe-shaped.

Habitat

Water poppy is mainly found in still to slow moving water bodies up to 1 metre deep. It grows best in full sun and in nutrient rich waterways but can tolerate cooler climates.

Acknowledgements

Author: Charlie Mifsud

Technical review: Rod Ensbey

References

Sainty, G.R and Jacobs, S.W.L (1981). Water plants of New South Wales. Water Resources Commission of New South Wales.

Buhle Mthembu October 2011. Hydrocleys nymphoides weed alert South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) 

Water Poppy (Hydrocleys nymphoides) Weedbusters fact sheet. www.weedbusters.org.nz

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Control

Herbicide options

Contact your local council weeds officer for control advice for Water poppy (Hydrocleys nymphoides).

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Biosecurity duty

The content provided here is for information purposes only and is taken from the Biosecurity Act 2015 and its subordinate legislation, and the Regional Strategic Weed Management Plans (published by each Local Land Services region in NSW). It describes the state and regional priorities for weeds in New South Wales, Australia.

Area Duty
All of NSW General Biosecurity Duty
All plants are regulated with a general biosecurity duty to prevent, eliminate or minimise any biosecurity risk they may pose. Any person who deals with any plant, who knows (or ought to know) of any biosecurity risk, has a duty to ensure the risk is prevented, eliminated or minimised, so far as is reasonably practicable.
Greater Sydney
Exclusion zone: All lands and waters in the region except for the core infestation area of the Hacking River catchment.
Regional Recommended Measure*
Exclusion zone: The plant should be eradicated from the land and the land kept free of the plant. Notify Local Control Authority if found. Core infestation: Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. Land managers should mitigate spread from their land. Plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment.
Murray Regional Recommended Measure*
Land managers should mitigate the risk of new weeds being introduced to their land. The plant should not be bought, sold, grown, carried or released into the environment. Notify local control authority if found.
Riverina Regional Recommended Measure*
Land managers should mitigate the risk of the plant being introduced to their land. Land managers should mitigate spread from their land. Notify local control authority if found.
*To see the Regional Strategic Weeds Management Plans containing demonstrated outcomes that fulfill the general biosecurity duty for this weed click here

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Reviewed 2017