Senegal tea: declared pest

Page last updated: Wednesday, 6 May 2020 - 11:30am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Senegal tea, temple plant, spade leaf plant (Gymnocoronis spilanthoides) is a declared pest in Western Australia (WA). This article describes the nature of the plant with links to requirements land owners/occupiers must adhere to and pest control methods.

Form: aquatic

Status: present in WA

Senegal tea is a native of tropical and sub tropical America from Mexico to Argentina. It has been introduced mainly as an aquarium plant to a number of countries.


A freshwater perennial herb, reproducing vegetatively and by seed.

Stems: Pale green, erect at first then laying over to become a tangled mat. Stems 1-1.5 metres long, 0.5-2 centimetres diameter. Branching at the nodes. Internodes hollow and inflated allowing them to float.

Leaves: Dark green, opposite, 5-20 centimetres long and 2.5-5 centimetres wide on short stalks. Margins toothed and leaf slightly wavy.

Flowers: Whitish, grouped into terminal heads 1.5-2 centimetres diameter. At base of flower head is a single row of green bracts.

Seed: Yellow-brown, 5mm diameter with no crown or pappus.

Agricultural and economic impact

Vigorous aquatic weed that chokes irrigation channels and associated infrastructure.

Declared pest category

The Western Australian Organism List (WAOL) contains information on the area(s) in which this pest is declared and the control and keeping categories to which it has been assigned in Western Australia (WA). Search for Senegal tea in WAOL using the scientific nameGymnocoronis spilanthoides.

Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons

Requirements for land owners/occupiers and other persons if this pest is found can be sourced through the declared plant requirements link.

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MyPestGuide™ Reporter
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Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080

Control method

Control methods for this declared plant can be found through the Senegal tea control link.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
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