Water Chestnut

Species: Trapa natans

weed identification

common name
Water Chestnut, Water Caltrop, Buffalo Nut, Bat Nut, Devil Pod, Ling Nut, Lin Kok, Ling Jow, Ling Kio Nut

Surface leaves are rhombic with toothed margins, submerged leaves are feather-like and arranged in whorls around the stem. Fruits are a hard, woody or bony nut with sharp spines. Flowers are white and tubular with 4 petals. Not yet recorded in Australia; if encountered, notify authorities. Dies over winter and grows back from seed in spring.


Inhabits freshwater wetlands, lakes, ponds, sluggish reaches of rivers & fresh or slightly brackish reaches of estuaries, preferring nutrient-rich waters.

Not yet recorded in Australia
native or exotic?

Reproduces via seed. Insect pollinated.


Water caltrop is usually introduced to an area through intentional planting by humans.


There are none recorded in Australia.

What does Water Chestnut look like?

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

Disadvantages of Water Chestnut

Water Chestnut is not evident in Australia but if it were it is expected to cause the following problems:

  • Can form thick impenetrable mats across wide areas of water
  • Blocks access to water
  • Has sharp spines on the nuts that can hurt humans and animals
  • Outcompetes native plants
  • Reduces food and habitat for fish and other aquatic animals
  • Prevents recreational activities such as swimming and fishing
  • Degrade water quality


Please do not attempt to treat or dispose of this weed yourself. Report to authorities if you suspect you have Trapa natans.

prevention options

Sale of Trapa natans is Forbidden in Australia.