Scientific name

Villarsia Vent.

Common names

water fringe, marsh-flower



Could be confused with


Native distribution

Southeast Asia, Australia, South Africa.

Species commonly cultivated

Villarsia albiflora F. Muell. (Australia)

V. exaltata (Sims) G. Don (Australia)

V. reniformis R. Br. (Australia)

V. umbricola Aston (Australia)

Adventive distribution


Weed status

not weedy


emergent floating or broad leaf rosette plant

Brief description

Annual or perennial. Monoecious or dioecious. Sometimes stoloniferous. Leaves submerged, floating or emergent, in basal rosette; petiole elongate; leaf blade elliptic to reniform; margin entire or crenate. Inflorescence an open panicle or rarely a dense head. Sepals 5; petals 5, fused at base, conspicuous, usually yellow or white, fimbriate (hairy) in throat, undulate along margins. Dispersal by seed.

Natural habitat

shallow water of swamps, ponds, and streams; adapts quickly to rising floodwaters by rapid petiole elongation

Additional comments

Villarsia consists of 18 species, mostly in Asia and Australia, although three species are found in South Africa. This genus is closely related to Nymphoides, with some species being placed in that genus by some authorities.