Native to South America, Peruvian primrose (Ludwigia peruviana) is a small shrub that has become a serious pest weed in wetlands around Sydney. Peruvian primrose has not yet been found in Queensland but was recently located in Northern NSW.
Peruvian primrose is a prohibited invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
- Perennial wetland shrub up to 3m tall.
- Flowers are up to 6cm wide with 4–6 petals, 1–3cm long, 1–3cm wide.
- Leaves are slightly toothed and alternate, 5–12cm long, 1–3cm wide.
- Fruit is reddish-brownish, 10–25mm long, 6–10mm wide.
- Seeds are numerous, light brown, 0.6mm–0.8mm long and spread by wind, water and birds.
The plant germinates in spring, grows rapidly in summer and flowers from late summer to autumn. Preferring wetland areas, the plant has the potential to become a pest if planted in aquariums or outdoor ponds and will form a pure stand that excludes native wetland plants and destroys the habitat of most native wildlife.
If you find a plant that you suspect may be Peruvian primrose phone 13 25 23. Do not interfere with the plant or remove its seeds or take flowers or cuttings until you receive advice from a DAF Inspector.
Article contributed by Juliet Musgrave, Fraser Coast Regional Council