Fanwort is a native of thesoutheastern U.S.(yellow in map below), but is considered to be a non-native invasive plant in the northeastern U.S. and in the northwest (green in map below). Fanwort is a rooted submersed plant. It may have submersed and floating leaves of different shapes. Fanwort generally grows in three to ten feet of water, and is found in ponds, lakes and quiet streams. Two species of Cabomba occur in Florida (Wunderlin, 2003).
Fanwort stems are long and much-branched. Fanwort has fan-like underwater leaves, which are about two inches across. The submersed leaves are frequently divided, and are arranged oppositely or in whorls along the stem. The floating leaves are small, diamond-shaped, and are infrequent. Fanwort flowers are white to pink to purplish and are about 1/2 inch across. The flowers are on stalks which arise from the tips of the stems.