Waterwheel Plant - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 07 Sep 2012


Waterwheel Plant is a member of the sundew family. It is a water-plant that traps and digests aquatic insects. Its leaves face outwards from the stem and snap shut on small water animals that trigger the long, sensitive hairs surrounding each leaf. The plant floats below the water's surface, and can be seen caught on underwater vegetation. It has stems 5 - 20 cm long, with whorls of 5 - 9 reddish-coloured leaves. The small, white or pinkish flowers emerge from the water, but the fruit capsules are held underwater.


The species is more commonly found in northern Australia and tropical regions of Asia and Africa. Known in NSW only from lagoons in the Moruya area on the south coast, from the Evans Head area on the north coast and from north of Guyra on the New England Tablelands.

Habitat and ecology

  • Found free-floating in near-coastal shallow freshwater lagoons that are rich in organic matter.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

CMA CMA sub-region Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Northern RiversClarence Lowlands Known within 5 km of coast
Northern RiversGlenn Innes-Guyra Basalts (Part A) Known None
Northern RiversYuraygir Predicted within 5 km of coast
Southern RiversBateman Known None