Keep eyes open for yellow water lily

News article |

The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board is encouraging community members to be on the lookout for the yellow water lily, a weed of concern for the region.

Commonly grown as a water feature plant, yellow water lily (Nymphaea mexicana) has escaped from gardens and is now a declared weed posing a serious threat to the main river channel, wetlands, floodplains, creeks and tributaries.

Keep eyes open for yellow water lily
Yellow water lily

Senior District Officer Scott Hutchens said this invasive plant has become an issue downstream of Blanchetown to Murray Bridge where he’s seen the largest infestations to date.

“Recent flooding and high-water events along the River Murray has created ideal growing conditions for the yellow water lily to flourish” he said.

“Large tubers were possibly dislodged from the riverbank when the water was rising, and with the strong flows, the plant could be growing anywhere along the river system”.

Yellow water lily has large floating leaves with bright yellow flowers appearing above the water. It forms spreading colonies which reduces water quality, blocks pump intakes, and restricts access for kayaking, skiing and swimming. Very large infestations can choke waterways, outcompete aquatic vegetation and entrap aquatic animals.

The landscape board will continue to conduct river surveys over the next few months, and control any outbreaks to stop further spread.

“We are encouraging anyone who’s spending time on the River Murray, and exploring its backwaters, to report any sightings.

“It’s easily identifiable with bright yellow flowers that are open during the day, and closed at night. It’s very pretty to look at, but don’t be fooled because it’s becoming a very large problem for the environment and people who use the waterways”.

Keep eyes open for yellow water lily
Controlling yellow water lily via kayak

Weed Warriors of our Waterways project

Yellow water lily is one of 6 priority weed species – terrestrial and aquatic being controlled as part of the Weed Warriors of our Waterways project.

District officers in the Murraylands and Riverland are working with river communities to survey for and control African boxthorn, boneseed, cacti species such as Hudson pear, golden dodder, sagittaria, and yellow water lily.

If you think that you’ve seen any of these weed species along the river or adjacent wetlands, please contact the landscape board’s Cambrai office on 8564 5154.

This project is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board with funding from the South Australian Government's Landscape Priorities Fund and the landscape levies.

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