Limnobium laevigatum

Photo by: CDFA

Common names: South American spongeplant; West Indian spongeplant

Limnobium laevigatum (South American spongeplant) is a perennial aquatic plant (family Hydrocharitaceae) found on the San Joaquin river and the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta. The spongplant can form thick mats across the water causing problems for boats, fish, and water infrastructure. Limbnobium laevigatum can spread rapidly through quick seed production and vegetative growth. The small, floating seeds easily disperse once produced.

Rating: High

Cal-IPC Resources

  • Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.
  • CalWeedMapper - Statewide maps, climate models, and reports.
  • Cal-IPC News - Our quarterly newsletter. Each issue is available as a pdf.
  • Cal-IPC Symposium Proceedings - Presentations and papers from our annual Symposium.
  • Don't Plant a Pest! - Select your region to find non-invasive alternatives to ornamental species. Also see our statewide brochure on trees.

    Other Resources

    • "New Invader Threatens California..." - California Department of Food and Agriculture
    • USDA PLANTS database -
      Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.
    • CalFlora - Distribution information by county based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.

    Symposium Presentations

    • None for this species

    Cal-IPC News Articles

    • Anderson, Lars and Pat Akers (2011). Spongeplant: A new Aquatic weed threat in the Delta. Cal-IPC News. 19: 1,4
    • Brusati, E. (2011). Cal-IPC Inventory update adds eight plants. Cal-IPC News. 19: 18.