Water primrose

Ludwigia peruviana

Common name:

Water primrose

Scientific name:

Ludwigia peruviana

Alternative common names:

Peruvian primrose bush, Peruvian primrose-willow.

Water primrose is a perennial, sometimes deciduous, wetland shrub that can grow to 3 and 4 metres. It reproduces by seed and there are many small sand-like seeds in 4 to 5 rows within a capsule and can produce soil seed banks of over a million seeds. 

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and South America.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA 1a.

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    North West Province.

    How does it spread?

    By seed dispersal and stem segments.

    Why is it a problem?

    Reduces the rate of flow in streams and causes wide ecological damage by increasing sedimentation. Interferes with animal’s access to drinking water and reduces water quality and blocks pumps.

    What does it look like?

    Leaves: Leaves are alternate, rarely opposite, ovate, 5-10cm long, 1-3cm wide, and hairy. Flowers: Flowers are bright yellow and quite showy, 2 to 4cm in diameter. There are four broad petals and the stamens are often in the shape of a cartwheel. Fruit/seeds: An erect capsule and the seed is light brown. There are many small sand-like seeds in 4 to 5 rows within a capsule and can produce soil seed banks of over a million seeds.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Ornamental.