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Water Chestnut Trapa natans - Biodiversity High Risk

Reproduction: The plant spreads by the rosettes and fruits detaching from the stem and floating to another area on currents or by fruits clinging to objects, and animals.

We Chestnut - Trapa natans Leaves

Water Chestnut Leaves

The species are floating annual aquatic plants, growing in slow-moving water up to 5 m deep, native to warm temperate parts of Eurasia and Africa. They bear ornately shaped fruits, which resemble the head of a bull or the silhouette of a flying bat. Each fruit contains a single very large, starchy seed.

This plant should not be confused with the unrelated Eleocharis dulcis, also called a water chestnut. Eleocharis is also an aquatic plant raised for food since ancient times in China. Eleocharis dulcis is a sedge, whose round, crisp-fleshed corms are common in Western-style Chinese food.

How To Identify Water Chestnut?

Leaf: Dark green serrated leaves

Fruit: "Bat-shaped" fruit

Water Chestnut clean-up job
Water Chestnut - Trapa natans ID Guide

Water Chestnut - Trapa natans ID Guide

Water Chestnut Clean-up Operation

Why Is Water Chestnut A Problem?

Fasciolopsiasis is an ailment resulting from infection by the trematode Fasciolopsis buski, an intestinal fluke of humans, endemic in China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India; this fluke can be transmitted via the surfaces of these and other water plants.

 

During the metacercarial stage in their lifecycle, the larval flukes leave their water snail hosts, and swim away to form cysts on the surfaces of water plants, including the leaves and fruit of water caltrops. If infected water plants are consumed raw or undercooked, the flukes can infect pigs, humans, and other animals.

Water Chestnut - Invasive Species Information

What Is Water Chestnut - (Trapa natans)?

HabitatAquatic
Distribution in Ireland: Inland lakes, ponds and canals, abundant in some places.

StatusEstablished
Family name: Lythraceae

European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 non-native invasive plant species A-Z (Updated 2017)

There are currently 35 invasive plant species listed in the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations (annex 2, Part 1)...

 

Click on a species from the following list to find out more regarding non-native species subject to restrictions under Regulations 49 and 50.

  1. American Skunk-CabbageLysichiton americanus

  2. Brazilian Giant-RhubarbGunnera manicata

  3. Broad-Leaved RushJuncus planifolius

  4. Cape PondweedAponogeton distachyos

  5. Cord-GrassesSpartina (all species and hybrids)

  6. Curly Waterweed - Lagarosiphon major

  7. Dwarf Eel-GrassZostera japonica

  8. FanwortCabomba caroliniana

  9. Floating PennywortHydrocotyle ranunculoides

  10. Fringed Water-LilyNymphoides peltata

  11. Giant HogweedHeracleum mantegazzianum

  12. Giant KnotweedFallopia sachalinensis

  13. Giant-RhubarbGunnera tinctoria

  14. Giant SalviniaSalvinia molesta

  15. Himalayan BalsamImpatiens glandulifera

  16. Himalayan KnotweedPersicaria wallichii

  17. Hottentot-FigCarpobrotus edulis

  18. Japanese KnotweedFallopia japonica

  19. Large-Flowered WaterweedEgeria densa

  20. Mile-a-Minute WeedPersicaria perfoliata

  21. New Zealand PigmyweedCrassula helmsii

  22. Parrots FeatherMyriophyllum aquaticum

  23. Red AlgaGrateloupia doryphora

  24. RhododendronRhododendron ponticum

  25. SalmonberryRubus spectabilis

  26. Sea-Buckthorn Hippophae rhamnoides

  27. Spanish Bluebell Hyacinthoides hispanica

  28. Three-Cornered LeekAllium triquetrum

  29. WakameUndaria pinnatifida

  30. Water ChestnutTrapa natans

  31. Water FernAzolla filiculoides

  32. Water LettucePistia stratiotes

  33. Water-PrimroseLudwigia (all species)

  34. WaterweedsElodea (all species)

  35. WireweedSargassum muticum