Alphabetical Plant Listing

Cabomba caroliniana (Carolina Watershield)

Carolina Fanwort, Green Cabomba, Fish-grass, Washington-grass, Carolina Watershield, Washington-plant


Noted for its attractive flowers and finely dissected leaves, Cabomba caroliniana (Carolina Watershield) is a submerged aquatic perennial with stems that can reach 6 ft (180 cm). They bear bright green, fan-shaped, deeply dissected leaves up to 1.4 in. across (4 cm) when submerged. The small floating leaves, 0.8 in. (2 cm), are entire and linear with pointed tips. In summer, charming white flowers with yellow centers are produced on long fine stems at the water's surface. Native to the southeastern United States and South America, Carolina Watershield grows rooted in the mud of stagnant to slow flowing water including streams, smaller rivers, ponds, lakes, reservoirs, sloughs, ditches, and canals. Carolina Watershield is useful as an oxygenator, helps control algae growth and provides a shelter for small fishes and aquatic invertebrates. However, Carolina Watershield is an extremely persistent and competitive plant that is sometimes an aggressive weed. It can root from vegetative parts and form extremely dense stands which can clog drainage systems and interfere with recreational activities such as swimming and boating. Before planting outdoors, gardeners should contact their local department of fish and wildlife for more information on invasive species and noxious weeds.

  • Grows up from 12 in. to 6 ft. tall (30-180 cm). 
  • Performs best in full sun to part shade in small aquatic planters or planted directly in gravel on the pond bottom, in water that can be 3-10 ft. deep (90-300 cm).
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Propagate by cuttings.
  • Native to the southeastern United States, southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, northeast Argentina.
  • Carolina Watershield is one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts.
  • Find where Cabomba caroliniana is invasive in the U.S.

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Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 11
Plant Type Aquatic Plants
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 6' (30cm – 180cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 5 – 11
Plant Type Aquatic Plants
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Height 1' – 6' (30cm – 180cm)
Spread 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Native Plants United States, California, Midwest, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Northeast, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Pacific Northwest, Oregon, Washington, Southeast, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Southwest, Oklahoma, Texas
Tolerance Wet Soil

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