Species: Cabomba caroliniana

weed identification

common name
Fanwort, Cabomba

Fanwort is a submerged, fan-leaved plant that predominantly grows and flowers in summer. It grows to two or more metres in length and is currently listed as a ‘noxious’ weed in Victoria. It prefers warm-temperate climates but can survive in a below zero environment.


Lives in slow-moving or still, shallow freshwater, it prefers lots of light as well as high rainfall and high nutrient environments.

native or exotic?

Grows and sprouts predominantly from plant fragments but can reproduce by seeds.


Seeds are spread by birds and boats whilst plant fragments are carried by wind and currents.


Fanwort is beneficial to some water bodies due to its ability to remove lead concentrations. Its also has the potential to limit algal blooms due its high nutrient consumption.

What does Fanwort look like?

Use these images below to help you decide whether you are dealing with Fanwort.

Disadvantages of Fanwort

Fanwort is an extremely persistent weed which at dense infestations can adversely impact a water body:

  • Potential to obstruct water flow, block pumps

  • Tends to inhibit the growth of other plants

  • Dominates nutrient-rich environments

  • Reduces food and habitat for fish
  • Restricts water-based recreation
  • Control is difficult, as it shows some resistance to herbicides


AQ200 Aquatic Herbicide – Chemical Herbicide designed to kill submerged weeds quickly. Use on mild to severe infestations.

Aquatic Weed Rake and Razor combo – DIY physical removal. Ideal for mild infestations, sensitive water bodies or to aid herbicide treatment

Aquatic Harvesting (Mobitrac) – Large amphibious machine that clears submerged aquatic weeds. Book this service for severe infestations or for larger water bodies.

prevention options

Aquatic Blue – Blue dye that may reduce temperature of the water body by reducing UV light penetration. This may then increase oxygen saturation.

Aerating Fountains – Reduces the severity and likelihood of aquatic weed infestations. Use in any body of water.