Illegal Aquatic Plants

Preventing the occurrence and spread of aquatic weed infestations in public waters can save millions of public and private dollars each year in avoided water impacts and control costs. Because prevention is so important, South Carolina, like several states, has adopted laws which prohibit the importation and distribution of specific exotic aquatic plant species known to cause problems.

For More Info On:

State Laws and Regulations

Federal  Laws and Regulations

The South Carolina Noxious Weed Act and State Crop Pest Act provides far reaching powers to seize, quarantine, treat, destroy, apply other remedial measures, to export, return to shipping point, or otherwise dispose of in such a manner as (it) deems appropriate, any noxious weed or any product or article of any character whatsoever or any means of conveyance which (it) has reason to believe contains or is contaminated with any noxious weed, offered for movement, moving, or has moved into or through the state or intrastate.

The Aquatic Nuisance Species Program of the  South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Aquatic Plant Management Council are working with  Clemson University's Department of Plant Industry  and the SC Department of Agriculture to improve the implementation of this law as it relates to nuisance aquatic plants. Educating the public and the plant nursery industry about the law and the potential problems associated with certain aquatic plants is an important component of the prevention effort.

Aquatic plant species currently listed as
llegal to possess, import, or distribute
in South Carolina include:

Alternanthera philoxeroides
Brazilian elodea Egeria densa
Common reed Phragmites australis
Eurasian watermilfoil Myriophyllum spicatum
Giant salvinia *  Salvinia molesta S. biloba, S. herzogii, S. auriculata 
Hydrilla* Hydrilla verticallata
Purple loosestrife Lythrum salicaria 
Slender naiad Najas minor
Water chestnut Trapa natans
Water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes
Water lettuce Pistia stratiotes
Water primrose Ludwigia hexapetala
Crested Floating Heart Nymphoides cristata
Yellow Floating heart Nymphoides peltata
Ambulia *  Limnophila sessiliflora
Miramar weed *  Hygrophila polysperma
The descriptive links for the plants listed below are courtesy of the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, University of Florida and Sea Grant , or US Dept. of Agriculture, NRCS Plants Database Website
African oxygen weed *  Lagarosiphon major 
Arrowhead *  Sagittaria sagittifolia 
Arrow-leaved monochoria *  Monochoria hastata 
Caulerpa *  Caulerpa taxifolia
Duck-lettuce *  Ottelia alismoides 
Exotic bur reed * Sparganium erectum 
Melaleuca *  Melaleuca quinquenervia
Monochoria Monochoria vaginalis 
Mosquito fern *  Azolla pinnata 
Rooted water hyacinth *  Eichhornia azurea 
Water spinach *  Ipomoea aquatica 
Wetland nightshade *   Solanum tampicense 
* included on Federal Noxious Weed List