Floating water chestnut


Have you seen Floating water chestnut?

Be on the lookout for Floating water chestnut and report it to Biosecurity Queensland. Early detection and reporting are the key elements in controlling Floating water chestnut.

Call us on 13 25 23.

Native to South East Asia, floating water chestnut is an aquatic plant with triangular leaves, white flowers and a four-horned nut. Although it has never been found in Queensland, floating water chestnut could become a serious pest in lakes, dams and reservoirs if introduced.

Floating water chestnut is a prohibited invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Trapa spp.


  • Floating aquatic plant.
  • Leaves are triangular, waxy.
  • Flowers have 4 white petals, centred rosette.
  • Fruit is 4-horned nut containing 1 seed.
  • Seed pods are hard, sharp.


  • Prefers lakes, dams, reservoirs and mudflats.


  • Not yet recorded in Queensland.

Affected animals

  • Humans



  • If introduced, could become serious pest in Queensland's lakes, dams and reservoirs.


  • Sharp seed pods cause painful injuries if stepped on.

How it is spread

  • Spreads by seed.


  • Call 13 25 23 if you find a plant you suspect may be floating water chestnut to seek advice on control options.

Legal requirements

  • Floating water chestnut is a prohibited invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • It must not be given away, sold, or released into the environment without a permit.
  • The Act requires that all sightings to be reported to Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours.
  • By law, everyone has a general biosecurity obligation (GBO) to take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risk of Floating water chestnut spreading until they receive advice from an authorised officer.

Further information