Photo credit: © Andy Nguyen/Flickr
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Species at a Glance
Known by a range of names, Java dropwort is often grown as a ground cover plant, particularly in areas of wet soil or along ponds and streams. It tends to spread rapidly by sending out runners that easily take root in wet soils. (Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources)
Java dropwort can be confused with Bishop's weed (Aegopodium podagraria), wild chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris), and caraway (Carum carvi).
As a wetland species, java dropwort tends to grow in moist areas, along streams, and on the edges of ponds. It prefers slow-moving or stagnant water.
Java dropwort is native to east Asia and Queensland, Australia. It was originally introduced into North America by the horticultural industry and marketed as an ornamental plant, an exotic vegetable, and a medicinal herb. It has since escaped from cultivation and found its way into natural areas. Currently, java dropwort has been found in Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, and Georgia.
This aggressive ground cover can form dense colonies and quickly spread into wetlands. Broken fragments are able to form advantageous roots, thus increasing its chances for spread. It can choke streams once established in a waterway. Locations impacted by this species see a decline in ecological integrity and decreased recreational value.