EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 03 - 2009 Num. article: 2009/058

A leaflet to stop the spread of aquatic invasive plants in Belgium

“Aqua production” is the biggest nursery of aquatic plants in Belgium, distributing plants to several hundreds of retailers in Belgium and neighbouring countries. This nursery industry has been approached by Belgian experts of the Forum on Invasive Species to make them aware of the threats to biodiversity caused by some invasive aquatic plants produced in the nursery (e.g. Hydrocotyle ranunculoides), by showing them pictures of invaded habitats. The manager of “Aqua production” agreed to remove plants considered invasive from production, as long as flyers explaining the threats of these species to their clients were provided. A flyer entitled “Stop the spread of invasive aquatic plants” was produced in French and Dutch by the Belgian Forum on Invasive Species. This flyer was then presented by the manager of Aqua Production himself during horticultural fairs (e.g. Green fair). This document proposes indigenous substitution plants to invasive alien plants:

Type of plants
Invasive alien aquatic plants
Substitution plants proposed
Semi-aquatic species
Impatiens glandulifera (Balsaminaceae, EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants)

Spiraea alba (Rosaceae)
Filipendula ulmaria ((Rosaceae)

Lythrum salicaria (Lythraceae)

Iris pseudacorus (Iridaceae)
Emerged plants
Hydrocotyle ranunculoides (Apiaceae, A2 List)

Ludwigia grandiflora & Ludwigia peploides (Onagraceae, EPPO List of IAP)
Sagittaria sagittifolia (Alismataceae)

Ranunculus aquatilis (Ranunculaceae)

Caltha palustris (Ranunculaceae)
Oxygenating plants
Elodea spp. (Hydrocharitaceae)

Myriophyllum aquaticum (Haloragaceae, EPPO List of IAP)
Potamogeton lucens (Potamogetonaceae)

Ceratophyllum demersum (Ceratophyllaceae)

Myriophyllum spicatum (Haloragaceae)

The flyer also warns about the threats of Eichhornia crassipes (Pontedriaceae - A2 List) and Pistia stratiotes (Araceae - Alert List), particularly in Southern Europe, and recommends the alternative use of the indigenous Nymphae spp. (Nymphaeaceae) and Potamogeton natans (Potamogetonaceae). The problems caused by other invasive plants such as Azolla filiculoides (Salviniaceae, EPPO List of IAP), Lemna spp. (Lemnaceae) and Crassula helmsii (Crassulaceae – A2 List) are also pointed out.


Branquart E (2008) Halte à la prolifération des plantes aquatiques invasives! 2 p.

Invasive Species in Belgium.