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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Water Chestnut
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Water Chestnut

Water ChestnutScientific name: Trapa natans L. (ITIS)

Common names: Water chestnut, water nut, water caltrop

Click image to enlarge

Selected Resources

Native To: Eurasia (Fofonoff et al. 2003)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1800s (Fofonoff et al. 2003)

Means of Introduction: Ornamental (Fofonoff et al. 2003)

Impact: Crowds out native species (Fofonoff et al. 2003)

Current U.S. Distribution:



Selected Resources:

Council or Task Force

Stop the Invasion: Water Chestnut (May 2011; PDF | 618 KB)
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.
See also: Outreach and Educational Materials - Invasive Species Fact Sheets for more resources


Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) - Water chestnut, European water chestnut
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Water Chestnut
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

New York Invasive Species Information - Water Chestnut
New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

NEANS Panel Online Guide - Water Chestnut
Northeast Aquatic Nuisance Species Panel.

Invasive Species Compendium - Trapa natans
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Trapa natans (aquatic plant)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Invaders Factsheet: European Water Chestnut
Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).

Federal Government

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database: Fact Sheet - Water Chestnut
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Trapa natans
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

PLANTS Database - Water Chestnut
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge - Water Chestnut (Jan 2004; PDF | 236 KB)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.

National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System (NEMESIS): Chesapeake Bay Introduced Species Database - Trapa natans
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

International Government

NSW WeedWise: Water caltrop
New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (Australia).

Invasive Plants: Restricted Invasive Plants - Floating Water Chestnut
Queensland Business and Industry Portal (Australia).

Fact Sheet: European Water Chestnut (PDF | 464 KB)
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Canada).
See also: Invasive Species Fact Sheets for more resources

State Government

Aquatic Invasive Species: Water Chestnut (May 2005; PDF | 96 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Species for exotic animal and plant pests invading Indiana, causing economic and visual damage

Aquatic Invasive Species: Water Chestnut
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Environmental Fact Sheet: Water Chestnut Discovered in New Hampshire Waters (2010; PDF | 746 KB)
New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
See also: Exotic Species Program - Publications for more resources

Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania: European Water Chestnut (PDF | 107 KB)
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for plant species (trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and aquatic plants) that have impacted the state's natural lands

AIS Action Plan: Water Chestnut (Jun 2011; PDF | 130 KB)
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species for more action plans

Freshwater Aquatic Invasive Species in Rhode Island: Water Chestnut (Oct 2010; PDF | 789 KB)
Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. Office of Water Resources.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Plants for species of concern

Water Chestnut
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


Weed Control in Natural Areas in the Western United States: Water Chestnut (2013; PDF | 279 KB)
University of California. Weed Research and Information Center.
See also: Weeds in Natural Areas for more information sheets

Maine Invasive Plants Bulletin: Water Chestnut
University of Maine. Cooperative Extension.
See also: Maine Invasive Plants & Entire Series for entire series of 22 fact sheets and invasive plants brochure (available in HTML/PDF or for purchase)

Aquatic Invasive Species in the Chesapeake Bay - Water Chestnut (Sep 2013; PDF | 101 KB)
Maryland Sea Grant.
See also: Six Species of Concern for more fact sheets

Introduced Species Summary Project - Water Chestnut
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

New York Sea Grant Fact Sheet - Water Chestnut (Trapa natans) in the Northeast (Feb 2006; PDF | 350 KB)
New York Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Publications

Invasive Plant Fact Sheet - European Water-chestnut (Nov 2011; PDF | 271 KB)
University of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Flora Project of Morris Arboretum.
See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for additional invasive plants in Pennsylvania

Invasive Species Fact Sheets - Water Chestnut
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.


Maine's Interactive Field Guide to Aquatic Invaders and Their Native Look Alikes - Water Chestnut
Lake Stewards of Maine.
Special Note: Formerly known as the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program.


Fofonoff, P.W., G.M. Ruiz, B. Steves, A.H. Hines, and J.T. Carlton. 2003. Trapa natans. In: National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System: Chesapeake Bay Introduced Species Database. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Trapa natans. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

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Last Modified: Sep 29, 2018
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