Water Primrose

Ludwigia peploides

Water Primrose (Ludwigia peploides) is an invasive species that is gaining prominence on Lake Seminole. Also known as creeping water primrose it is a floating emergent perennial that typically grows in water (0-5’) deep. The picture on the right shows it growing on top of Cuban bulrush (Oxycaryum cubense) where it can expand out into deeper water. The yellow flowers are beautiful and one of the distinguishing characteristics from, an often mistaken, Alligator weed below. Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides), is also an invasive, has a small white flower and leaves that are opposite instead of alternating like the Water Primrose.

In the early stages of development, vertical stems provide habitat for small invertebrates which form the basis for an increasingly larger food chain of predators such as largemouth bass. However, as growth continues, it spreads rapidly creating an intertwined, impenetrable mat of roots. At this stage of growth, water primrose becomes a true invasive, choking out other beneficial native plants, and altering the physical-chemical water quality by stopping light penetration, decreasing dissolved oxygen levels and lowering the pH. There is no known benefit to waterfowl.