Aquatic plants

Plants banned in the UK since April 2014

We have not sold these plants for many years, they are invasive weeds and should not be sold.

Azolla filliculoides

Azolla filliculoides image

Commonly known as Water fern, Fairy fern or Fairy moss

In a hot summer this plant can quickly cover vast areas with a dense mat of foliage. It prevents light being able to penetrate the mat to the water below killing submersed oxygenating plants and restricting the growth of many others. Because of its tiny size it is very difficult to remove and almost impossible to eliminate completely. As it reproduces from tiny fragments, it is easily transported by travelling wildlife or by people transferring plants from one pond to another.

Alternative plants that can be used are Hydrocharis morsus ranae (frogbit) native but slow growing, Eichhornia crassipes major (water hyacinth) is quicker to grow but not hardy and large so very easy to remove and it is not possible for it to be invasive in the UK.

Crassula helmsii

Crassula helmsii image

Also known as New Zealand pigmyweed, Australian Swamp Stonecrop, New Zealand Stonecrop, Crassula recurva, Tillia recurva and Tillaea helmsii.

Again this plant can regenerate from tiny fragments and hence easily spread to new areas. Again it forms a dense mat reducing light levels and can spread over moist ground displacing other plants.

Hydrocotyle ranunculoides

Hydrocotyle ranunculoides image

Also known as Floating Pennywort, Water pennywort or Pennywort.

This plant can grow at an astonishing 20 cm per day, rapidly forming a thick mat across a pond or slow moving water. Not to be confused with slower growing varieties such as Hydrocotyle nova Zealand (Miniature pennywort) or the variegated Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides variegata (Crystal confetti)

Ludwigia uruguayensis

 Ludwigia uruguayensis image

Also known as Water primrose, Lugwigia grandiflora, Ludwigia peploides or incorrectly as Jussiaea.

Unlike the other plants in this category, which we have not sold for years, until 2010 we did sell this plant as we had mixed messages coming from various sources. Due to co-operation between the Government and the Aquatics trade there is now the clarity missing before and we support the joint decision and de-listed it. The Government is highly appreciative of the support it has received from OATA, HTA and companies such as ourselves who have been so proactive in a voluntary sales ban.

Myriophyllum aquaticum

Myriophyllum aquaticum image

Also known as Parrot's feather, Myriophyllum brasiliense, Myriophyllum proserpinacoides or Brazilian water-milfoil.

This plant can completely take over a pond, again reducing light. In addition it is primarily sold as an oxygenating plant but is particularly poor at this role as the submersed leaves tend to rot hence not oxygenate. As an alternative, why not try Myriophyllum brasiliensis ‘red stem’, a much slower growing form. Or there are two natives, both Myriophyllum spicatum (Spiked water milfoil) and Myriophyllum verticillatum (Whorled water milfoil) are far better oxygenating plants.

Photographs kindly supplied by Non Native Species Secretariat

Be Plant Wise

For more information please see;

Non Native Species Secretariat