The Cabomba Caroliniana is an aquatic plant with finely divided fan shaped leaves. They usually flower late spring to early fall and have white to purplish or yellow flowers. Cabomba Caroliniana is usually rooted to the river or lake bottom with many roots but can survive free-floating for 6-8 weeks.
The Cabomba Caroliniana was first discovered in 1991. It was found in Ontario in Kasshaborg lake, northeast of the city of Peterborough. Although it was first discovered in Ontario it originates primarily from places with warm, humid, subtropical climates such as those found in southeastern regions of North America and northeastern South America
Cabomba Caroliniana has been introduced to Australia, Japan, Malasyia, Great Britain, Germany, Sweeden, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and the United States.
Cabomba Caroliniana is a popular aquarium plant and it could have been accidentally introduced somewhere when someone who works at the aquarium carelessly dumped the contents of a tank into a waterway which caused the Cabomba Caroliniana to start to grow uncontrolled.
Boats could also carry plant fragments from an infested area to an area that is not infested and cause it to spread.
The Cabomba Caroliniana grows really fast and forms thick mats that crowd out the native plants. These thick mats also block sunlight from the submerged plants. They disrupt fish communities and clog drainage canals and streams too. All of these mats on the surface of the water can prevent the body of water from being used for recreation. They monopolize resources and prevent other plants from getting them. They do have some benefits though. In Australia Cabomba Caroliniana is used for trade and can be a $300,000 a year business. It can be used as a decorative aquarium plant and provides habitat to many microinvertabrates and fish.
There are many ways to remove and control Cabomba Caroliniana but unfortunately no known biological controls exist. Some other ways you can remove and control Cabomba Caroliniana is, mechanical removal, draw downs which is the reduction in size and presence, herbicides which is a pesticide to kill unwanted plants, draining, drying and sediment removal. The government is also establishing guidelines to properly clean equipment. Even with all of these different options Cabomba Caroliniana is very costly to control so we should definately try our best to get rid of it before it becomes extremely uncontrollable. We need to be very cautious about cleaning our equipment well, dumping aquarium contents and things like that if we don't want it to spread.