- Description: This species is a free-floating aquatic plant, with short green leaves in whorls of three.
- Origin and Worldwide Distribution: It is native to Brazil, and spreads in a variety of aquatic habitats, including rivers, lakes, and rice paddies. It has been spread to India, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Ghana, Mali, the United States of America, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal.
- Potential or Known Impacts: It competes with native species for water, nutrients and space, leading to poor crop production in rice paddies, and reduced plant biodiversity in the wild. Aquatic fauna may be reduced under well-established populations.
- How did it/could it get here? It can move through waterways due to the water's movement and activities of humans and fauna. It has become an unintentional hitchhiker on boating equipment, and become a commercial interest as an ornamental plant.
- If already present in Ireland where? Not present in Ireland
- Methods for Prevention: EU-level action includes a ban on sales and any planting or keeping, including in aquaria, as well as rapid eradication of any new populations to avoid the excessively high costs associated with its management later on.
- Current Legislative Position (Listed on 14 August 2019) This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment. For further queries, you can contact the Non Native Invasive Species Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558.