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Peruvian primrose


Have you seen Peruvian primrose?

Be on the lookout for Peruvian primrose and report it to Biosecurity Queensland. Early detection and reporting are the key elements in preventing Peruvian primrose from becoming established in Queensland.

Call us on 13 25 23.

Native to South America, Peruvian primrose is a small shrub that has become a serious weed in wetlands around Sydney. Infestations can exclude native plants and destroy habitat. Peruvian primrose has not yet been found in Queensland.

Peruvian primrose is a prohibited invasive plant under the Biosecurity Act 2014.

Scientific name

Ludwigia peruviana

Other names

  • Ludwigia, Peruvian water primrose, Peruvian primrose bush


  • Perennial wetland shrub up to 3m tall.
  • Flowers are up to 6cm wide with 4–6 petals, 1–3cm long, 1–3cm wide.
  • Leaves are slightly toothed and alternate, 5–12cm long, 1–3cm wide.
  • Fruit is reddish or brownish, 10–25mm long, 6–10mm wide.
  • Seeds are numerous, light brown, 0.6mm–0.8mm long.

Similar Species

Peruvian primrose looks similar to several related species. Use the following characteristics to distinguish them:

  • Long-leaved willow primrose (Ludwigia longifolia):
    • upright (erect) woody herb or small shrub with 4-angled stems
    • leaves are hairless, glossy and elongated (lanceolate) or linear
    • flowers usually have 4 large, yellow petals
    • fruit is 10–35mm long, hairless and 4-angled in cross-section.
  • Native willow primrose (Ludwigia octovalvis):
    • upright woody herb or small shrub with rounded stems
    • leaves are usually covered in hairs, variable shape that can be egg-shaped to very elongated
    • flowers usually have 4 large, yellow petals
    • fruit is 20–45mm long, hairy and rounded.
  • Water primrose (Ludwigia peploides subsp. montevidensis):
    • creeping or floating plant with rounded stems
    • leaves are mostly hairless, glossy and egg-shaped or elongated
    • flowers usually have 5 yellow petals
    • fruit is 10–30mm long, mostly hairless, and rounded in cross-section.


  • Prefers wetland areas.
  • Potential to become a serious pest if planted in aquariums or outdoor ponds.


  • Not known to be present in Queensland. Recently found in northern New South Wales.

Life cycle

  • Germinates readily in spring.
  • Grows rapidly in summer.
  • Flowers from late summer to autumn.



  • Forms pure stands that exclude native wetland plants and destroy habitat of most native wildlife.

How it is spread

  • Seeds spread by birds, water and wind.


  • Phone 13 25 23 if you find a plant you suspect may be Peruvian primrose. Do not interfere with the plant or remove its seeds or take flowers or cuttings until you receive advice from a DAF Inspector.

Legal requirements

  • Peruvian primrose is a prohibited matter under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
  • You must not deal with Peruvian primrose in any way. You must not keep, move, distribute, supply, give away, sell, or release into the environment.
  • Under the Act, you are required to report all sightings Biosecurity Queensland within 24 hours.
  • By law, you must not take any action reasonably likely to increase the biosecurity risk posed by Peruvian primrose.
  • You must take any action reasonably likely to minimise the risk of Peruvian primrose spreading.
  • Ensure you obtain advice from a DAF Inspector.

Further information