The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Philydrum lanuginosum
Philydrum lanuginosum
(woolly frogs mouth)
Native Transplant

Copyright Info
Philydrum lanuginosum Banks ex Gaertn.

Common name: woolly frogs mouth

Synonyms and Other Names: Garciana cochinchinensis Lour., Philydrum cavaleriei H. Léveillé, Woolly Frogsmouth, Frogmouth, Woolly Waterlily, Frogsmouth

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: According to Ohwi (1965) and Wu and Larsen (2000):

Habit: emergent aquatic, perennial forb

Stems/Roots: tufted, with fibrous roots

Leaves: linear, alternate, two-ranked, basally attached, 0.3-0.7 m long, 1-2 cm wide at base

Flowers: yellow, bilaterally symmetrical, bisexual, surrounded by spined bracts, along a simple spike inflorescence; villous (woolly) along the inflorescence; only one stamen

Fruits/Seeds: three-valved, dehiscent capsules with hundreds to thousands of 0.7 mm long seeds

Look-a-likes: Scheuchzeria palustris, Xyris ambigua, and Juncus spp.

Size: 0.5-1.0 m tall (Ohwi 1965)

Native Range: Native to Guam, U.S. island territory in Micronesia (Stone 1970), Southeastern China, Taiwan, India (Andaman Islands), Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam, and Northern Australia (Wu and Larsen 2000).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Philydrum lanuginosum are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
NC201620192New River; Northeast Cape Fear
SC201720171Calibogue Sound-Wright River

Table last updated 7/14/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.


Life History: growing season is June-October. Flowering (June-July) occurs for one day and the flowers are self-pollinating (Wu and Larsen 2000); seeds float and can germinate underwater with high viability (Prentis et al. 2006). Seeds did not require dormancy when germinated in a laboratory (Bridget Lassiter, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, pers. comm. 2019).

Habitat: found mostly along margins in up to 0.6 m of water; common weed in rice patties in its native Southeast Asia (USDA 2016).

Tolerances: unknown

Community interactions: seed dispersal may be conducted via zoochory (USDA 2016).

Means of Introduction: Likely escaped from cultivation. It is widely available in the international nursery trade. Once established, floating seeds can disperse by water, wind, birds, and mammals (USDA 2016).

Status: Established in Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Impact of Introduction:
Summary of species impacts derived from literature review. Click on an icon to find out more...


Philydrum lanuginosum is reported as a weed in rice agriculture in Asia (Moody 1989, USDA 2016) and plantation crops in southern Thailand (Randall 2007). This species is considered a weed in Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam (NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services 2019).

This species has also been reported to be potentially toxic to cattle (McKenzie 1997).

USDA (2016) Weed Risk Assessment of P. lanuginosum suggests that this species could affect local species diversity and may present a threat to Threatened and Endangered plant species in similar habitats.

References: (click for full references)

McKenzie, R. 1997. Australian native poisonous plants. http://anpsa.org.au/APOL7/sep97-4.html. Created on 09/01/1997. Accessed on 07/12/2019.

Moody, K. 1989. Weeds reported in rice in south and southeast Asia. International Rice Research Institute, Manila, Philippines.

NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. 2019. Pest alert: wooly frogs mouth. http://www.ncagr.gov/plantindustry/plant/entomology/documents/WoolyFrogsMouthPestAlert.pdf.

Ohwi, J. 1965. Flora of Japan. National Science Museum, Tokyo, Japan.

Prentis, P.J., N.M. Meyers, and P.B. Mather. 2006. Significance of post-germination buoyancy in Helmholtzia glaberrima and Philydrum lanuginosum (Philydraceae). Australian Journal of Botany 54:11-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/BT04208.

Randall, R. 2007. A global compendium of weeds. http://www.hear.org/gcw/. Created on 01/24/2007. Accessed on 07/12/2019.

Stone, B.C. 1970. The flora of Guam: A manual for the indentification of the vascular plants of the island. Micronesica 6:1-657.

USDA. 2016. Weed Risk Assessment for Philydrum lanuginosum Banks ex Gaertn. (Philydraceae) – Woolly frogs mouth. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Raleigh, NC.

Wu, G., and K. Larsen. 2000. Philydraceae. Page 43 in Flora of China. Volume 24. eFloras.

Author: Pfingsten, I.A. and Daniel, W.M.

Revision Date: 9/25/2019

Peer Review Date: 9/18/2019

Citation Information:
Pfingsten, I.A. and Daniel, W.M., 2024, Philydrum lanuginosum Banks ex Gaertn.: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=262, Revision Date: 9/25/2019, Peer Review Date: 9/18/2019, Access Date: 7/14/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/14/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.