Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of Australia

Compiled by Adrian R Tappin - Updated 11 September 2004


The following information has been gathered from many sources including government agencies, academic and library sources.  Most information was obtained from reports and published papers. Although care has been taken in preparing the information contained in this document, no guarantee of the accuracy or completeness is given.  The quality of information varies greatly and must be evaluated critically by the user.   



Authors inevitably differ in their concept of which species should be included in a taxonomic treatment of aquatic plants. Each has his own definition for the term “aquatic”. Virtually all authors recognize those plants with a submersed or floating growth habit as aquatic. Most also apply the term to the common emergent species. The definition is harder to apply consistently for (1) plants growing in marginal zones of wetlands, e.g., shores, wet meadows, streambanks, etc., and (2) plants displaying a wide-ranging ecological amplitude which enables them to grow in either wet or dry situations. Whether a plant is to be designated as aquatic or not is thus based upon the plant's growth habit and the types of habitats in which it is found. How much weight is assigned to either of these criteria is a subjective decision which largely accounts for differences in the taxa treated by various aquatic plant manuals.


Much confusion can be avoided at the outset by defining the terms used to delimit the group of plants included herein. The term “aquatic” is used to describe those plants growing in water or in soils that are saturated during most of the growing season. Four categories of aquatic plants may be recognized on the basis of growth form and zone of habitation:  


1.              Free-floating is the term used for plants which float at or beneath the water surface without attachment to the substrate. Free-floating aquatics are transported freely by wind and currents, so they are normally found in abundance only in calm, sheltered waters.   

2.              Submergent describes plants anchored to the bottom by roots or rhizomes. Their foliage is either entirely submersed or some floating leaves may also be present. Reproductive structures may be submersed, floating, or borne above the water surface. Submergent plants occur in very shallow to deep water, depending upon water clarity, substrate, and growth form.  

3.              Emergent refers to those species which occur on saturated soils or on soils covered with water for most of the growing season. The foliage of emergent aquatics is partly or entirely borne above the water surface.   

4.              Amphibious applies to aquatic species which are capable of growing as either submergent or emergent aquatics. These species commonly assume a semi-terrestrial growth form when stranded by a receding water level. The semi-terrestrial growth form usually differs markedly in appearance from the submersed growth form.  


Many of the species included in this list fit none of the categories given above. These are plants that ordinarily inhabit swampy areas, shores, streambanks, exposed mud flats, and other marginal habitats where the soil is saturated for only part of the growing season. Since these habitats are inherent to wetland ecosystems, the plants which inhabit them are logically part of the wetland flora. They are, therefore, admitted to this list as wetland plants.  


Not all wetland plants are restricted to wetland habitats. A considerable number of them are also found in upland situations. Many are opportunistic weedy species that rapidly invade soil left bare by receding water. Some are well suited to the disturbed conditions provided by shorelines and stream banks. Still other plants found in both wetland and upland habitats are not weedy at all, but are simply capable of growing in a variety of moisture regimes. Even though these plants are by no means restricted to wetlands, they are encountered in wetland habitats with considerable frequency and are included in this list to ensure adequate coverage of wetland flora.


At any one time while a particular wetland is flooded 10-30 species may be found whereas over time the species list for that wetland may be considerably larger. At any one time when the wetland is flooded or dry, many species may only be present as seeds in the soil, with no above ground individuals present. The species composition of a site will be influenced by the size of the site and recent flooding and drying patterns. The nature and timing of wetting and drying causes a dynamic vegetation, from open water bodies with submerged vegetation and vegetated margins to wetlands with central vegetation beds, to completely vegetated wetlands, to completely dry wetlands.



The total plant species found in Australian wetlands is considerably larger than given below.


Note * = introduced (naturalised) species


Abelmoschus ficulneus, moschatus

Acaena novae-zelandiae

Acanthus ebracteatus, ilicifolius

Achyranthes aspera

Acrostichum aureum, speciosum

Actinoscirpus grossus

Adriana tomentosa

Aeschynomene aspera, indica

Agrostis lacunarum, stolonifera

Aldrovanda vesiculosa

Alisma plantago-aquatica

Alternanthera ficoidea (bettzickiana), philoxeroides*, pungens, sessilis (angustifolia, denticulata, nana, nodiflora)  

Ammannia aff. conferta, baccifera, multiflora, pubiflora

Ampelopteris prolifera

Amphibromus archeri, archeri var. papillosus, fluitans, macrorhinus, neesii, nervosus, pithogastrus, recurvatus, sinuatus

Aniseia martinicensis

Aphelia pumilio

Aponogeton bullosus, distachyos*, elongatus subsp. elongatus, elongatus subsp. fluitans, euryspermus, hexatepalus, kimberleyensis, lancesmithii, proliferus, queenslandicus, vanbruggenii  

Arthropodium minus

Asperula euryphylla, gemella, gunnii, scoparia var. scoparia
Austrofestuca eriopoda, hookeriana

Austrostipa stipoides

Azolla filiculoides, pinnata, filiculoides var. rubra


Bacopa caroliniana*, floribunda, monniera, procumbens*

Baloskion australe

Bambusa arnhemica

Barringtonia acutangula, acutangula subsp. actuangula (Freshwater mangrove)

Basilicum polystachyon

Batrachium trichophyllum

Baumea acuta, arthrophylla, articulata, gunnii, juncea, muelleri, nuda, planifolia, rubiginosa, teretifolia

Bergia pedicellaris

Blechnum camfiedlii, indicum, minus, nudum, orientale

Blumea axillaries, tenella

Blyxa auberti, auberti var. aubertii, aubertii var. echinosperma, octandra

Bolbitis sp.1

Bolboschoenus caldwellii, fluviatilis, medianus

Bothriochloa bladhii subsp. bladhii

Brachiara mutica*

Brachyscome angustifolia, basaltica, basaltica var. gracilis, cardiocarpa, dentata, graminea, radicans

Brachyachne ambigua, tenella

Bracteantha ssp. nov. aff. subundulata

Brasenia schreberi

Bruguiera exaristata, gymnorrhiza, parviflora, sexangula

Bulbine semibarbata

Bulbostylis barbata, densa, pyriformis, striatella*

Butomopsis latifolia (Tenagocharis latifolia)


Cabomba caroliniana*

Caladium procerum

Caldesia acanthocarpa, oligococca, oligococca var. oligococca, parnassifolia

Callitriche brachycarpa, capricorni, cyclocarpa, hamulate*, muelleri, sonderi, stagnalis*, umbonata, verna  

Calocephalus lacteus

Calostemma purpureum

Calotis anthemoides, breviseta, scabiosifolia var. integrifolia

Calystegia sepium

Carallia brachiata

Cardamine gunnii, hirsuta, lineariloba, tenuifolia

Cardiospermum halicacabum*, halicacabum var. halicacabum*

Carex appressa, archeri, arenaria*, bichenoviana, breviculmis, breviscapa, brownii, brunnea, buxbaumii, capillacea, chlorantha, cruciata var. rafflesiana, declinata, echinata, fascicularis, gaudichaudiana, gunniana var. gunniana, hebes,  hubbardii, incomitata, inversa, inyx, klaphakei, lobolepis, longebrachiata, lophocarpa, maculata, polyantha, pumila, tasmanica, tereticaulis

Cathormion umbellatum

Cayratia maritima

Centella asiatica (cordifolia)

Centipeda cunninghamii, minima, minima subsp. macrocephala, minima subsp. minima, minima var. lanuginosa, minima var. minima, racemosa, thespidioides

Centrolepis aristata, fascicularis, glabra, pedderensis, polygyna, strigosa ssp. strigosa

Ceratophyllum demersum, muricatum subsp. muricatum, submersum

Ceriops australis, decandra, tagal

Ceratopteris cornuta, thalictroides  

Chamaesyce drummondii

Chara australis, braunii, baueri, biformis, braunii, contraria, ecklonii, ecklonii var. albaniensis, fibrosa, globularis, hookeri, imperfecta, leptopitys, mollusca, muelleri, myriophylla, preissii, setosa, vulgaris

Cheilanthes sieberi subsp. sieberi

Chenopodium glaucum, pumilio, nitratiaceum

Chionachne cyathopoda

Chorizandra australis, enodis

Christella dentata

Chrysopogon oliganthus

Cladium procerum

Claytonia australasica

Coldenia procumbens

Commelina agrostophylla (lanceolata), cyanea, difformis

Corypha utan

Cotula australis, bipinnata*, coronopifolia, longipes, repens, reptans

Colocasia esculenta

Corchorus capsularis

Craspedia canens, glauca, paludicola

Crassula closiana, colorata var. acuminata, decumbens var. decumbens, helmsii, moschata, peduncularis, sieberiana, sieberiana ssp. tetramera

Cressa cretica  

Crinium angustifolium, flaccidum, pedunculatum, uniflorum

Crotalaria quinquefolia

Cucumis melo

Cullen australasicum, cinereum

Cyanotis axillaris

Cyclosorus interruptus

Cynodon dactylon

Cyperus aggregatus*, aquatilis, betchei, betchei subsp. commiscens, bifax, blakeanus, breviculmis, brevifolius*, castaneus, cephalotes, clarus, compressus*, concinnus, congestus*, cunninghamii subsp. cheradicus, cunninghamii subsp. cunninghamii, cyperoides, dietrichiae var. brevibracteatus, difformis, digitatus, disjunctus, distans, dubius*, eglobosus, enervis, eragrostis*, esculentus*, exaltatus, filipes, flaccidus, flavescens, flavidus, fucosus, fulvus, gilesii, gracilis, gunnii subsp. gunnii, gunnii subsp. novae-hollandiae, gymnocaulos, haspan subsp. haspan, haspan subsp. juncoides,  imbecillis, iria, javanicus, kyllingia, laevigatus, laevis, leiocaulon, lhotskyanus, lucidus, macrostachyos, microcephalus subsp.  microcephalus, microcephalus subsp. saxicola, mirus, nutans subsp. eleusinoides, odoratus, orgadophilus, papyrus, pilosus, platystylis, polystachyos, procerus, pumilus, pygmaeus, rotundus, rupicola, sanguinolentus, scaber, scariosus, sculptus, secubans, semifertilis, serotinus, sesquiflorus*, sphaeroideus, squarrosus, stradbrokensis, subulatus, tenellus*, tenuiculmis, tenuispica,  tetraphyllus, trinervis, unioloides, vaginatus, victoriensis


Dalbergia candenatensis

Damasonium minus

Danthonia caespitosa, duttoniana

Dentella dioecea, minutissima, repens

Derris trifoliate

Desmodium muelleri

Dichanthium sericeum subsp. Polystachyum

Dichondra repens

Dicliptera armata

Diplachne fusca, uninervia*

Diplazium dietrichianum

Distichlis distichophylla

Dopatrium junceum

Drosera pygmaea

Dysphania ssp. glomulifera


Echinochloa colona, crus-galli, dietrichiana, elliptica, macrandra, polystachya

Eichhornia crassipes*

Eclipta alatocarpa, platyglossa, prostrata,  

Egeria densa*

Elatine gratioloides

Eleocharis acuta, atricha, acutangula, atropurpurea, brassii, caespitosissima, caribaea, cylindrostachyos, denuda, dietrichiana, dulcis, equisetifolia, equisetina, geniculata, gracilis, keigheryi, macbarronii, nigrescens (setifolia) nuda, ochrostachys, pallens, philippinensis, plana, pusilla, retroflexa, sphacelata, spiralis, sundaica, tetraquetra, A56424 Nourlangie Creek, A63452 Coonjimba Billabong  

Elodea canadensis*

Elytrophorus spicatus

Epilobium billardierianum ssp. billardierianum, billardierianum ssp. cinereum, billardierianum ssp. intermedium, billardierianum ssp. hydrophilum, gunnianum, hirtigerum, pallidiflorum, tasmanicum

Epipremnum amplissimum

Equisetum debile

Eragrostis benthamii, brownii, infecunda  

Eriocaulon australe, australasicum, carpentariae, carsonii, cinereum, concretum, crebra, depressum, fistulosum, heterogynum, inapertum, lividum, monoscapum, nematophyllum, odontospermum, patericola, pusillum, pygmaeum, scariosum, schultzei, scullionii, setaceum, spectabile, tortuosum, tricornum, willdenovianum, zollingerianum

Eriochloa procera

Eryngium ovinum, vesiculosum  

Euchiton involucratus

Euphorbia vachellii

Euphrasia scabra,  

Excoecaria parvifolia


Fallopia convolvulus

Fimbristylis acicularis, acuminate, adjuncta, aestivalis, blakei, caloptera, carolinii, clavata, compacta, denudate, depauperate, dichotoma, dolera, ferruginea, littoralis, microcarya, miliacea, pauciflora, phaeoleuca, polytrichoides, recta, tristachya, sieberianna, schultzei, velata

Flagellaria indica

Fontinalis sp.

Fuirena ciliaris, incrassata, umbellata


Gahnia sieberiana, trifida

Galium gaudichaudii

Goodenia blackiana, geniculata, gracilis, heteromera, heterophylla ssp. heterophylla, humilis, lamprosperma, macbarronii, porphyrea, purpurascens, purpurea, quadrifida, symonii

Glinus lotoides, oppositifolius, sessiliflorus

Glossostigma cleistanthum, diandrum, elatinoides, trichodes

Glyceria australis, latispicea

Gratiola pedunculata, peruviana

Gymnocoronis spilanthoides*


Haloragis aspera, brownii, heterophylla

Halosarcia pergranulata  

Hanguana malayana

Helichrysum sp. aff. rutidolepis

Heliotropium indicum, ovalifolium

Helminthostachys zeylanica

Hemarthria uncinata

Hibiscus panduriformis

Homopholis proluta

Hydatella dioica, leptogyne

Hydrilla verticillata

Hydrocharis dubia

Hydrocleys nymphoides*

Hydrocotyle callicarpa, grammatocarpa, hirta (javanica), laxiflora, lemnoides, muscosa, peduncularis, pterocarpa, ranunculoides*, sibthorpioides, striata, tripartite, verticillata

Hygrochloa aquatica, cravenii

Hygrophila angustifolia  

Hymenachne acutigluma, amplexicaulus*

Hypericum japonicum

Hypoestes floribunda, sparsiflora

Hypolepis punctata

Hypoxis exilis, vaginata var. brevistigmata


Imperata cylindrica

Ipomoea aquatica, coptica, muelleri

Isachne confusa (Sacme confusa), globosa, globosa var. effusa, pulchella

Ischaemum australe, australe var. arundinaceum, australe var. australe, australe var. villosum, fragile, rugosum, tropicum

Isoetopsis graminifolia

Isoëtes australis, brevicula, caroli, coromandelina, coromandelina subsp. macrotuberculata, cristata, drummondii, drummondii ssp. anomala, drummondii subsp. drummondii, elatior, gunnii, humilior, inflate, muelleri, pusilla, tripus

Isolepis australiensis, cernua, congrua, fluitans, hookeriana, inundata, marginata, montivaga, nodosa, oldfieldiana, platycarpa, producta, victoriensis, wakefieldiana

Isotoma fluviatilis, fluviatilis ssp. australis, fluviatilis subsp. borealis


Juncus acuminatus*, acutus subsp. acutus*, alexandri subsp. melanobasis, amabilis, aridicola, articulatus*, australis, bufonius, bulbosus*, caespiticius, capillaceus*, capitatus, cognatus*, continuus, falcatus, filicaulis, firmus, flavidus, fockei, gregiflorus, holoschoenus, homalocaulis, ingens, kraussii subsp. australiensis, laeviusculus subsp. laeviusculus, microcephalus*, mollis, ochrocoleus, pallidus, pauciflorus, phaeanthus, planifolius, polyanthemus, prismatocarpus, procerus, psammophilus, radula, remotiflorus, revolutus, sandwithii, sarophorus, semisolidus, subglaucus, subsecundus, tenuis, usitatus, vaginatus.


Lachnagrostis adamsoni, aemula, filiformis

Lamprothamnium papulosum

Landoltia punctata (Spirodela punctata)

Lagarosiphon major [Recorded from a farm dam in NSW in 1977 but now removed. Not known to be naturalised elsewhere in Australia. (Groves 1998)]

Lazula densiflora

Leersia hexandra

Lemna aequinoctialis, disperma, minor, tenera, trisulca

Lepidosperma elatius, gunnii, longitudinale

Lepidium aschersonii

Lepilaena australis, bilocularis, cylindrocarpa, patentifolia, preissii,  

Lepironia articulata

Leptinella longipes, reptans

Leptodictyum riparium

Leptostigma reptans

Leptochloa digitata, fusca, fusca subsp. fusca, neesii

Leptorhynchos tenuifolius

Lepyrodia anarthria

Lilaeopsis brownii, polyantha,  

Limnophila aromatica, australis, brownii (indica), chinensis, fragrans   

Limosella australis, curdieana

Lindernia anagallis, antipoda, ciliata, cowiei, tectanthera, tenuifolia

Lindsaea walerae

Lipocarpha microcephala

Livistona benthamii

Lobelia alata, beaugleholei, pratioides, purpurascens, quadrangularis, stenophylla  

Lomandra densiflora, effusa, fibrata, hystrix, longifolia, nana, ordii, sororia

Ludwigia adscendens, hyssopifolia, octovalvis, octovalvis subsp. octovalvis, octovalvis subsp. sessiliflora, palustris*, peploides subsp. montevidensis, perennis, peruviana*

Luffa cylindrica

Luzula densiflora

Lycopodiella cernua (Lycopodium cernuum)

Lycopus australis

Lygodium microphyllum

Lysinema lasianthum

Lythrum hyssopifolia, salicaria, wilsonii


Macroptilium lathyroides*

Maideneia rubra

Malachra capitata, fasciata, fasciata var. lineariloba

Marsilea angustifolia, costulifera, crenata, drummondi, exarata, hirsuta, mutica,  

Maundia triglochinoides

Mazus pumilio

Melochia corchorifolia, pyramidata

Mentha australis, diemenica var. diemenica, x piperita var. x piperita*

Merremia gemella, (gemella var. splendens), hederacea

Monochoria australasica, cyanea, hastata, vaginalis

Montia fontana

Micrantheum serpentinum,

Microcarpaea minima

Microseris aff. lanceolata

Microsorium pteropus, schneideri

Mimosa pigra

Mimulus repens

Mitrasacme sesedens

Muehlenbeckia florulenta

Myosurus minimus, minimus var. australis

Myriocephalus rhizocephalus

Myriophyllum alpinum, amphibium, aquaticum*, artesium, balladoniense, callitrichoides, callitrichoides subsp. callitrichoides, callitrichoides subsp. striatum, caput-medusae, coronatum, costatum, crispatum, dicoccum, drummondii, echinatum, elatinoides, fascicularis, filiforme, glomeratum, gracile var. gracile, gracile var. laeve, gracile var. lineare, implicatum, integrifolium, lapidicola, latifolium, lophatum, muelleri, muricatum, papillosum, pedunculatum subsp. longibracteolatum, pedunculatum subsp. pedunculatum, petraeum, porcatum, propinquum, salsugineum, simulans, striatum, tillaeoides, trachycarpum, tuberculatum, variifolium, verrucosum,  

Myosotis australis


Najas browniana, foveolata, graminea, leichardtii, melesiana, marina subsp. armata, marina subsp. latior, pseudograminea, tenuifolia

Nasturtium officinale*

Nelsonia campestris

Nelumbo nucifera

Neopaxia australasica

Nephrolepis biserrate, hirsutula

Neptunia major

Nesaea repens, robertsii, striatiflora,  

Nitella acuminata, australiensis, confusa, congesta, cristata, diffusa, flexilis, furcata, gelatinifera, gloeostachys, haagenii, heterophylla, hookeri, hookeri var.  arthroglochin, horikawae, hyalina, ignescens, imahorii, imperialis, leonhardii, leptostachys, microteles, monopodiata, myriotricha, partita, penicillata, polycephala sensu A. Braun, pseudoflabellata, pseudoflabellata var.confusa,  sonderi, stuartii, subtilissima, tasmanica, tumida, ungula, verticillata, woodii

Nymphaea atrans, caerulea subsp. zanzibarensis*, elleniae, gigantea var. gigantea, gigantea var. neorosea, hastifolia, immutabilis subsp. immutabilis, immutabilis subsp. kimberleyensis, macrosperma, mexicana*, nouchali, pubescens, violacea,  

Nymphoides aurantiaca, beaglensis, crenata, elliptica, exigua, exiliflora, furculifolia, geminata, hydrocharoides, indica, minima, montana, parvifolia, planosperma, quadriloba, simulans, spinulosperma, spongiosa, stygia, subacuta, triangularis

Nypa fruticans


Oldenlandia galioides, tenuifolia

Olearia glandulosa

Omegandra kanisii

Ondinea purpurea, purpurea subsp. petaloidea

Ophiuros exaltatus

Oplismenus aemulus

Ottelia alismoides, ovalifolia

Ozothamnus rosmarinifolius

Oryza australiensis, meridionalis, minuta, rufipogon, sativa


Panicum decompositum, luzonense, obseptum, paludosum, trachyrhachis

Parkinsonia aculeata

Paspalidium udum

Paspalum distichum, longifolium, scrobiculatum, vaginatum

Peltophorum pterocarpum

Peplidium maritimum

Persicaria attenuata, barbata, bellardii, capitata*, decipiens, dichotoma, elatior, hydropiper, lapathifolia, orientalis, praetermissa, prostrata, prostratum, strigosa, subsessilis, D17952 Bulkine Billabong

Peplidium maritimum

Pentapetes phoenicea

Philydrum languinosum

Phragmites australis, vallatoria (karka)

Phyla canescens, nodiflora var. nodiflora

Phyllanthus amarus, maderaspatensis, polycladus, reticulatus, urinaria

Physalis minima

Pilularia novae-hollandiae

Pimelea curviflora var. (aff. ‘Licola’)

Pistia stratiotes

Plantago drummondii, gaudichaudii

Poa labillardieri var. labillardieri

Pogostemon stellatus

Polygala D132655 ciliate alae

Polygonum plebeium

Potamogeton australiensis, crispus, drummondii, ochreatus, octandrus (javanicus), pectinatus, perfoliatus, tepperi, tricarinatus, tricarinatus Form II, tricarinatus sens. lat. (Condah)  

Pratia concolor, pedunculata, surrepens

Psoralea cinerea

Pseudognaphalium luteoalbum

Pseudoraphis spinescens

Pteris commans

Puccinellia stricta var perlaxa

Pultenaea stricta


Ranunculus acaulis, amphitrichus, collicola, collicolus, collinus, diminutus, glabrifolius, hamatosetosus, inundatus, jugosus, lappaceus, meristus, muricatus*, papulentus, pentandrus var. platycarpus, plebeius, prasinus, pumilio var. pumilio, repens*, rivularis, sceleratus*, trichophyllus  

Restio tetraphyllus ssp. tetraphyllus

Rhodanthe corymbiflora

Rhizophora apiculata, lamarckii, stylosa

Riccia duplex, fluitans, multifida, natans

Ricinus communis

Ricciocarpus natans

Rorippa dictyosperma, eustylis, laciniata, nasturtiumaquaticum*, palustris*,

Rostellularia adscendens

Rotala diandra, mexicana, occultiflora, rosea, tripartite


Ruppia maritima, megacarpa, polycarpa, sp. aff. tuberosa, tuberosa

Rumex bidens, brownii

Rutidosis multiflora


Sacciolepis indica, myosuroides

Sagittaria montevidensis*, graminea ssp. platyphylla*
Salvinia molesta*

Samolus repens, valerandii,

Sarcocornia quinqueflora

Schoenoplectus dissachanthus, laevis, lateriflorus, litoralis, mucronatus, praelongatus, pungens, tabernaemontani, validus

Schoenus apogon, centralis, falcatus, fluitans, indutus, latelaminatus, lepidosperma subsp. pachylepis, maschalinus, natans, nitens, tesquorum

Scirpus articulatus, crassiusculus, confervoides, grossus, inundatus, lacustris, litoralis, mucronatus ssp. mucronatus, nodosus, polystachyus

Scleria mackaviensis, novae-hollandiae, poaeformis, rugosa, sphacelata  

Sclerostegia arbuscula  

Sebaea albidiflora, ovata

Selaginella gracillima

Selliera radicans  

Senna obtusifolia, tora

Sesbania cannabina, erubescens, formosa, javanica, sesban

Sparganium antipodum, erectum, simplex, subglobosum

Sphaeranthus africanus, indicus

Sphaerolobium racemulosum

Sphaeromorphaea australis

Sphenoclea zeylanica

Spiranthes sinensis subsp. australis

Spirodela oligorrhiza, polyrhiza

(Spirodela punctata = Landoltia punctata)

Sporobolus mitchellii, virginicus

Staurogyne leptocaulis, leptocaulis subsp. decumbens

Stellaria angustifolia, palustris var. palustris*   

Stenochlaena palustris

Streptoglossa odora

Stylidium corymbosum, despectum, fimbriatum, inundatum, roseo-alatum, rubriscapum

Suaeda australis  

Swainsona procumbens

Synedrella nodiflora


Tacca leontopetaloides

Tenogocharis latifolia

Teucrium racemosum

Thalassia hemprichii

Thelypteris confluens

Thespidium basiflorum

Thoracostachyum sumatranum

Torrenticola queenslandica

Trianthema cussackiana, pilosa, portulacastrum, triquetra

Trichodesma zeylanicum

Triglochin calcitrapum, dubium, microtuberosum, multifructum, procera (procerum), procerum sens. lat. (broad erect leaves), procerum sens. lat. (floating leaves), pterocarpa, rheophilum, striata, striatum sens. lat. (robust terete leaves)

Tristicha trifaria [The Australian species may be Tristicha australis? The Australian species differs from other populations in having 2 stamens instead of only 1 per flower (although occasionally overseas plants possess 2 stamens), and in having the stigmas sometimes forked instead of simple.]

Trithuria submersa

Typha angustifolia, domingensis, orientalis,  

Typhonium flagelliforme


Urena lobata

Urochloa mutica

Utricularia arnhemica, aurea, australis, beaugleholei, bifida, biloba, dichotoma, dunlopii, dunstaniae, flexuosa, fulva, gibba (exoleta), involvens, kamienskii, lasiocaulis, laterifolia, leptorhyncha, minutissima, mulleri, quinquedantata, rhododactylos, singeriana, stellaris, tenella, tubulata, uliginosa, violacea, vulva


Vallisneria americana (gigantea), annua (gracilis), caulescens, nana (spiralis), triptera  

Vigna adenantha

Villarsia albiflora, calthifolia, capitata, congestiflora, exaltata, lasiosperma, latifolia, parnassifolia, reniformis, submersa, umbricola, violifolia  

Veronica anagallis-aquatica*, sp. aff. gracilis, gracilis

Viola betonicifolia, hederacea


Wilsonia backhousei, rotundifolia

Wolffia angusta, australiana, globosa


Xerochloa imberbis

Xyris complanata, gracilis, inaequalis, indica, indivisa, juncea, laxiflora, operculata, pauciflora, roycei, ustulata


Zanichellia palustris




Hygrophila salicifolia = Hygrophila angustifolia [name misapplied in Qld]

Limnophila indica = Limnophila brownii [name misapplied in Australia]

Nymphaea capensis = Nymphaea caerulea subsp. zanzibarensis

Utricularia exoleta = Utricularia gibba


Aquatic macrophytes are recognised as an integral component of natural aquatic ecosystems because they increase habitat diversity and directly modify aquatic habitats. The cyclical uptake and release of carbon dioxide and oxygen during photosynthesis and respiration produce cyclic fluctuations in the concentrations of these gases and hence cyclic fluctuations in dissolved oxygen concentration and pH.  Carbon fixed during photosynthesis may be released into the water column and subsequently utilised by bacteria and epiphytes. Aquatic macrophytes further alter in-stream habitat by reducing water velocities, enhancing sediment deposition and influencing water temperatures.


Aquatic macrophytes are utilised as shelter and habitat by aquatic microflora and fauna. Epiphytes utilise aquatic macrophytes as substrates for attachment and growth and the taxonomic composition of epiphytic communities may vary with different aquatic macrophyte species. Epiphytic communities associated with macrophytes are utilised as a food source by aquatic fauna such as insect larvae. Macroinvertebrates utilise aquatic macrophytes as food or cover and different aquatic macrophyte species may support different communities or abundances of macroinvertebrates. Native freshwater fishes and waterfowl may utilise aquatic macrophytes as food, cover and/or spawning and nesting sites.


Both macrophytes and algae can indicate the health of a waterway; however the type of aquatic plants and the density of species found in river systems are influenced by a number of factors such as temperature, light availability, salinity, water flow and nutrient concentration. For this reason, there is often variation in aquatic plant growth within and between seasons. Prolific growth is often experienced in late spring and during summer.


Aquatic macrophytes are ecologically and economically important components of aquatic ecosystems.  Despite their fundamental importance to aquatic ecosystems relatively little research has been directed towards aquatic macrophytes, especially in riverine environments. Consequently, little is known of the ecological and life history requirements of many species. Very few comprehensive aquatic flora surveys have been conducted within Australian freshwaters.   




Aston, H. I. (1973).  Aquatic Plants of Australia.  Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.


Aston, H. I. (1997).  Nymphoides spinulosperma (Menyanthaceae): a new species from south-eastern Australia.  Muelleria 10:21-25.


Best, E. P. H., and Boyd, W. A. (2001).  "A simulation model for growth of the submersed aquatic macrophyte American wildcelery (Vallisneria americana Michx.)," ERDC/EL TR-01-5, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS.


Botanic Gardens Trust (2004).  PlantNET - The Plant Information Network System of Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia (version 2).


Briggs, B. G. and Makinson, R. O. (2002) Ranunculus meristus (Ranunculaceae), a new stoloniferous species from eastern Australia. Telopea 9(4): 809-812.


Burbidge, N. T. (1966).  Australian Grasses.  Angus and Robertson publishers.


Capon, S. J. (2003).  Flow Variability and Vegetation Dynamics in a Large Arid Floodplain: Cooper Creek, Australia.  Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Griffith University, Queensland.


Cowie, I. D., P. S. Short & M. Osterkamp Madsen (2000).  Flora of Australia Supplementary Series, Number 10.  Australian Biological Resources Study.


Croft, J. R. 1986.  The Aquatic Pteridophytes of New Guinea.  Australian National Herbarium Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research.


Croft, J. R. 1986.  Aquatic Pteridophytes of Australia.  Australian National Herbarium Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research.


Cunningham, G. M., W. E. Mulham, P. L. Milthorpe and J. H. Leigh. 1992. Plants of Western New South Wales. Inkata Press.  


Curtis, W. M. and Morris, D. I. (1975).  The Student's Flora of Tasmania.  Part 1.  Government Printer, Hobart.


Curtis, W. M. and Morris, D. I. (1994).  The Student's Flora of Tasmania.  Part 4B.  Printing Authority of Tasmania, Hobart.


Duncan, B.D. & Isaac, G. (1986).  Ferns and allied plants of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.  Melbourne University Press.


Entwisle, T. and Lucy Nairn (2004) Census of Freshwater Algae in Australia, in PlantNET - The Plant Information Network System of Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia (version 2).


Finlayson C.M, Bailey B.J & Cowie I.D 1989.  Macrophyte vegetation of the Magela Creek flood plain, Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory.  Research report 5, Supervising Scientist for the Alligator Rivers Region, AGPS, Canberra.


Foulkes, J. N. and Gillen, J. S. (eds) (2000) A Biological Survey of The Murray Mallee South Australia. Biological Survey and Research Section, Heritage and Biodiversity Division, Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australia.  


Galbraith, J. (1977).  Guide to the Wild Flowers of South East Australia.  Collins, London.


Gardner S, Finlayson CM & Pidgeon RWJ [eds] (2002).  Description and literature review of the flora and vertebrate fauna of Magela Creek, Alligator Rivers Region, northern Australia.  Scientist Report 169, Supervising Scientist, Darwin NT.


Garrett, M. (1996).  The Ferns of Tasmania.  Their Ecology and Distribution.  Tasmanian Forest Research Council, Hobart.


Gilfedder, L. (1989).  Five Rare Southwest Tasmanian Endemic Plant Species.  Department of Lands, Parks and Wildlife, Hobart.


Gilfedder L. (1991).  Ranunculus prasinus Flora Recovery Plan: Management Phase.  Department of Parks, Wildlife & Heritage, Hobart.


Gilfedder, L., Kirkpatrick, J. B., Wells, S. (1997).  The endangered buttercup (Ranunculus prasinus): Ecology, conservation status and introduction to the Township Lagoon Nature Reserve, Tasmania.  Australian Journal of Ecology 22, 347-351.


Griffiths, T., Bowman, D., Cowie, I., and Fensham, R. (2000).  Vegetation of the Maningrida Region, Northcentral Arnhem Land.  Key Centre for Tropical Wildlife Management.


Groves, R.H. (1998). Recent incursions of weeds to Australia 1971-1995. CRC for Weed Management Systems Technical Series No.3.


Heffer, D. K. (2003).  Wetlands of Lakes Sorell and Crescent: Conservation and Management.  Inland Fisheries Service, Hobart.


Heffer, D. K. (2003).  Hazelwoods Lagoon.  Aquatic Vegetation Survey.  Inland Fisheries Service, Hobart.


Hellquist, C. B. and S.W. L. Jacobs (1998).  Aponogetonaceae of Australia, with descriptions of six new taxa.  Telopea 8 (1), Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.


Hristova, V and S. Murti (1998). Natural Resources and Development in the Daly River-Sturt Plateau Region of the Tropical Savannas of the Northern Territory.  Office of Resource Development Northern Territory Government.


Hughes, L. M. R., Davis, G. L. (1989).  Aquatic Plants of Tasmania.  The University of Melbourne, Melbourne.


Jacobs, S. W .L. (1992).  New species, lectotypes and synonyms of Australasian Nymphaea (Nymphaeaceae).  Telopea 4 (4): 635 - 641.


Jacobs, S. W. L. (1994).  Further notes on Nymphaea (Nymphaeaceae) in Australia.  Telopea 5 (4): 703 - 706.


Jacobs, S. W. L., and K. A. Frank (1997) Notes on Vallisneria (Hydrocharitaceae) in Australia, with descriptions of two new species.  Telopea 7(2): 111-118.


Jacobs, S.W.L. (2001) The genus Lachnagrostis (Gramineae) in Australia. Telopea 9(3): 439–448.


Jarman, S. J., Crowden, R. K. (1979).  An examination of vegetation from the Lower Gordon River and associated catchments against a background of regional botany.  In: Lower Gordon Region: Land Use, Resources and Special Features.  The Hydro Electric Commission, Tasmania.


Jessop, J. P. and Toelken, H. R. (1986).  Flora of South Australia, Part IV (Alismataceae to Orchidaceae).  South Australian Printing Division, Adelaide.


Lukacs, G. (1996). Wetlands of the Townsville Area. Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research,

James Cook University of North Queensland, Townsville.


Leach, G. J. & Osborne, P. L. 1985.  Freshwater Plants of Papua New Guinea.  University of Papua New Guinea Press.


Les, D. H. and D. J. Crawford.  1999.  "Landoltia (Lemnaceae), A New Genus of Duckweeds."  Novon 9: 530-533.


Lloyd R. M.  (1974). Systematics of the genus Ceratopteris Brongn.  (Parkeriaceae) II. Taxonomy.  Brittonia 26:139-160.


Lloyd R. M.  (1993) Parkeriaceae Hooker, water fern family.  Pages 119-121 in Editorial Committee, Flora of North America North of Mexico.  Vol 2.  Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms.  Oxford University Press, New York.


Lubomír Adamec (1999).  The Biology and Cultivation of Red Australian Aldrovanda vesiculosa.  Carnivorous Plant Newsletter.


Lynley Wallis ((2003).  An overview of leaf phytolith production patterns in selected northwest Australian flora.  Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 125: 201-248


Mackay, S. J. (2001).  Pioneer Valley Water Resource Plan.  Current Environmental Conditions and Impacts of Existing Water Resource Development.  APPENDIX E - Aquatic Macrophytes.  Queensland Department Natural Resources and Mines.


McConchie, C. A. and Kadereit J. W. (1987) Floral structure of Vallisneria caulescens, Bailey and F. Mueller, Aquatic Botany 29: 101-110.


Menadue, Y., Crowden, R. K. (1989).  Tasmanian species of Ranunculus, a new key.  Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 123, 87-96.


Northern Territory Government (2003) Checklist of NT Vascular Plant Species.


Organic Promotions Pty Ltd (2001). Middle Torrens Catchments Natural Resources Management Plan. Prepared for the Mid Torrens Catchments Group.


Philcox, D. (1970).  A Taxonomic Revision of the Genus Limnophila R. Br.  (Scrophulariaceae).  Kew Bull.  24: 101 - 171


Roberts, J. and Marston, F. (2000).  Water regime of wetland and floodplain plants in the Murray-Darling Basin: A source book of ecological knowledge.  CSIRO Land and water.  Technical Report 30/00.  October 2000.  Canberra.


Ross, J.H. (2000) A census of the vascular plants of Victoria , 6th Ed, National Herbarium of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens, South Yarra.


Sainty, G. R., Jacobs, S. W. L. (1981).  Water Plants of New South Wales.  Water Resources Commission, New South Wales.


Sainty, G. R., Jacobs, S. W. L. (1994).  Waterplants in Australia.  Sainty and Associates, Darlinghurst.


State Herbarium of South Australia (2004). Census of South Australian Vascular Plants - Edition 5.1


Stephens, K. M. and Dowling, R. M. (2002) Wetland Plants of Queensland: A Field Guide.  CSIRO Publishing, Sydney.


Townsville City Council and Townsville Enterprise Limited.  "Natural Assets Database". (23 Dec. 2003)


Trayler, K. M., Davis, J. A., Horwitz, P. and Morgan, D. (1996).  Aquatic fauna of the Warren bioregion, south-west Western Australia: Does reservation guarantee preservation?  Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 79(4).


Walsh, N. G. and Entwisle, T. J. (1996).  Flora of Victoria, Volume 2.  Inkata Press, Melbourne.


Walsh, N. G. and Entwisle, T. J. (1996).  Flora of Victoria, Volume 3.  Inkata Press, Melbourne.


Walsh, N. G. and Entwisle, T. J. (1996).  Flora of Victoria Volume 4.  Inkata Press, Melbourne.


Wannan, B. S. and J. J. Waterhouse (1985).  A Taxonomic Revision of the Australian Species of Limnophila R. Br.  (Scrophulariaceae).  Australian Journal of Botany 33: 367 - 80.


Wannan, B. S. (1986).  The correct name for Limnophila gratioloides sensu R. Br., Nom.  Ille.  (Scrophulariaceae).  Taxon 35: 597 - 98.


Watson, L. and M. J. Dallwitz (2000).  The Families of Flowering Plants: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval.  Version: 14th December 2000.


Western Australian Herbarium (2004). FloraBase - The Western Australia Flora (version 2).


Willis, J. H. (1970).  A Handbook to Plants in Victoria, Volume 1.  Melbourne University Press, Victoria.


The Genera Nymphoides and Villarsia By David Curtright, Escondido, California (26.12.2003)


Middle Torrens Catchments: Natural Resources Management Plan. (2001) Prepared for the Mid Torrens Catchments Group.


Special thanks to Adrian Tappin for providing this list to the BPSG.