Shrubby Water Primrose, Mexican Primrose Willow

Ludwigia octovalvis

Family: Onagraceae (on-uh-GRAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Ludwigia (lud-WIG-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: octovalvis (ok-toh-VAL-vis) (Info)
Synonym:Ludwigia octovalis
Synonym:Ludwigia octovalvis subsp. octovalvis


Ponds and Aquatics

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall





Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Brandon, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Miami Beach, Florida

Brunswick, Georgia

Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Maricao, Puerto Rico

Fort Worth, Texas

Garland, Texas

Longview, Texas

New Braunfels, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Santa Fe, Texas

Willis, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 13, 2014, mskasik from New Braunfels, TX wrote:

The Water Primrose grows all around the ponds at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.


On Oct 3, 2008, DonnaB from Vancleave, MS (Zone 8b) wrote:

is host plant for the Banded Sphinx Moth.

Can be a pain around my pond. Hand pulling is keeping it under control so far


On Aug 29, 2006, JeanneTX from Willis, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

As usual I find Dave's Garden "Plant Files" invaluable..I had this pop up as a volunteer in my garden and had never seen it before..someone on a posting help me id it and I found it here....very pretty "wildflower"??...Jeanne


On Nov 10, 2005, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Other common names for the shrubby water primrose, Mexican primrose willow (Ludwigia octovalvis) include false loosestrife, narrow-leaf water primrose, West Indian evening primrose and seedbox. It is native to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas and the Virgin Islands. It grows in wet soils or the mud of ditches, fields and rice fields, as well as the edges of marshes, ponds and streams. The plants are often found in large colonies. It has a taproot and long lateral roots that run just under the soil surface.

It is an upright growing, shrubby perennial that has a round stem which is usually much branched. The lower stems are often woody with the upper stems being herbaceous. The short stalked, alte... read more


On Aug 7, 2004, trois from Santa Fe, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

A very attractive marginal for pond background. Blooms all warm weather. Each petal is heart shaped. The leaves are slender and smooth. The stems are reddish. The entire plant is very attractive and draws favorable comments. On my lily pond it is forming a background on the east side of the pond, the other is framed by water Iris.