EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 11 - 2007 Num. article: 2007/224

Substitute species to garden pond plants in Scotland, United Kingdom

Plantlife, a charity organisation working to protect wild plants and their habitats in the United Kingdom, has released a leaflet to warn gardeners about the threats caused by aquatic invasive alien plants used for garden ponds in Scotland, and to propose non-invasive substitute plants.

The following plants are considered as invasive and shall not be used and bought: Azolla filiculoides (Azollaceae, EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants), Cabomba caroliniana (Cabombaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Crassula helmsii (Crassulaceae, EPPO A2 List), Eichhornia crassipes (Pontederiaceae, EPPO Alert List), Elodea canadensis (Hydrocharitaceae), Elodea nuttallii (Hydrocharitaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Apiaceae, EPPO A2 List), Lagarosiphon major (Hydrocharitaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Myriophyllum aquaticum (Haloragaceae), Pistia stratiotes (Araceae, EPPO Alert List), Salvinia molesta (Salviniaceae, EPPO Alert List).

The following native species are proposed as substitutes: Callitriche stagnalis (Callitrichaceae), Eleocharis acicularis (Cyperaceae), Myosotis scorpioides (Boraginaceae), Myriophyllum spicatum (Haloragaceae), Nuphar lutea (Nymphaeaceae), Nymphaea alba (Nymphaeceae), Potamogeton natans (Potamogetonaceae), Ranunculus aquatilis (Ranunculaceae), Ranunculus flammula (Ranunculaceae). The cosmopolitan Ceratophyllum demersum (Ceratophyllaceae) is also proposed as a substitute plant; nevertheless, this species has shown invasive behaviour and should be used with care.

In addition, the leaflet recalls that it is illegal to uproot wild plants, and makes the following recommendations:
  • Dispose of any pond plant very carefully and compost them at home or through municipal composting schemes, or burn them
  • Try to use native plants instead of invasive alien plants, preferably from local sources
  • Only buy properly labelled plants (check the full Latin name)
Ask store managers for proper labelling.


Plantlife (2006) Pond Alert! Managing your garden pond to protect Scotland’s wildlife. Plantlife International.