- It is unclear of the country of origin of water lettuce. In Queensland, it quickly invades and forms a dense mass on nutrient-rich, stationary water bodies or slow-moving streams, devastating fish and waterfowl habitat.
- Can survive for long periods on mud banks or in other damp situations.
- Free-floating, perennial aquatic plant.
- Dense rosette of overlapping leaves on a very short stem with long, feathery roots.
- Leaves are yellowish-green, fan-shaped, with 6 or more prominent veins on the underside, thick at the base, densely covered with short white hairs.
- Small, green, inconspicuous flowers at the base of leaves.
- Roots are up to 80 cm long, unbranched.
- Fruit resembles a berry, 5-8 cm wide, although seed production has not been recorded in Australian conditions.