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Invasive Species: Carolina Fanwort

Carolina Fanwort

(Cabomba caroliniana)
*Detected in Michigan*


Report this species:

Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN) online reporting tool.

- Or - download the MISIN smartphone app and report from your phone -



  • Submerged aquatic plant, rooted in the mud of stagnant or slow-flowing water.
  • Underwater leaves approximately 2 inches across and divided into fine branches.
  • Flowering branches grow above the water surface with diamond shaped leaves.
  • Flowers small and range from white to pale yellow.
  • Stem length usually less than 10 feet but can reach 33 feet.

Photo courtesy of Leslie J Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

Photo courtesy of Robert Videki, Doronicum Kft.,

Photo courtesy of Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut,

Habitat: This submerged aquatic plant roots itself into the mud of shallow, slow moving or stagnant freshwater ecosystems.

Native Range: Southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and the southeastern United States

Local Concern: Dense mats alter oxygen and pH levels, reduce sunlight penetration and interfere with recreational water use.

Means of Introduction: Aquarium and water garden trades, recreational equipment.

Other Names: Fanwort, fish grass, green cabomba, Carolina water-shield, Washington-plant and Washington grass.


Carolina Fanwort Invasive Species Alert - Printable PDF

Status and Strategy for Carolina Fanwort Management This document provides in-depth information about Carolina fanwort in Michigan including identification, distribution, management and control options.

MDARD Weed Risk Assessment for Carolina Fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana) - This document evaluates the invasive potential of the plant species using information based on establishment, spread and potential to cause harm.