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Native to South and Central America,
Water Primrose was introduced to the USA. It grows along the
margins of lakes, ponds, and rivers, forming floating mats at
first. By summer it becomes slightly woody, forming stalks that
will flower above the surface.
Water primrose was likely brought to the U.S. as an ornamental
plant. It now ranges from New York to Florida, west to Texas,
and along the west coast. Primrose produces abundant seeds that are
very small. It will also reproduce by fragmentation; roots will
readily grow from the nodes.
Dense growths of water primrose provide breeding areas for
mosquitoes, and will degrade both water quality and habitat for
fish and wildlife. It fouls intakes used to supply municipal
drinking water and irrigation, and becomes a navigation hazard.
Creeping water primrose should never be introduced to open
Creeping water primrose is a perennial plant that
stands erect along the shoreline but also forms long runners (up to
16 feet) that creep across wet soil or float out across the water
surface. The leaves vary from green to red tinged. The plants
flower yellow in all seasons except winter. The yellow flower is
very distinctive of creeping water primrose. Flowers vary in size
from 1 inch to 2 inches in diameter.
You can identify non-native water primrose species by their
sprawling growth habit and showy yellow flowers. Look for the
A. The entire
population should be treated as creeping water primrose is not
native to the United States.
A. Once water
temperatures are around sixty degrees or warmer.
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