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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

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Hydrilla verticillata

Common name:


Scientific name:

Hydrilla verticillata

Alternative common names:

Esthwaite waterweed (English)

Hydrilla is a submerged perennial aquatic plant with branching stems up to 2m long, but in deep water can reach 7m. It forms dense submerged masses which impacts on recreational activities such as boating and fishing. It also threatens indigenous aquatic plants. It looks similar to indigenous Lagarosiphon and would need to be examined microscopically.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Suspected to originate from the warmer parts of Asia.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA Category 1a

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Pongolapoort (Jozini) Dam in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

    How does it spread?

    Reproduces from seeds and two types of specialised buds. It can also propagate from fragments of the stem. Boats and fishing gear could spread this weed from Pongalpoort to other dams and rivers.

    Why is it a problem?

    It crowds out other aquatic plants. It hinders recreational boating, fishing and even makes swimming dangerous.

    What does it look like?

    Leaves: Leaves grow in whorls of 3-8 and have distinctly serrated margins. Leaves are usually 12mm long and 2mm wide and grow on long submerged stems up to 2m long. Flowers: Inconspicuous, about 3mm across, at the tip of long thin stalks and float on the surface. Fruit/seeds: Rounded capsule.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Sometimes used for ornamental purposes in aquariums and ponds.

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more