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Water Hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Family: Pontederiaceae

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Description

Plants grow floating on the water surface, forming stolons. Plants have very prominent black, stringy roots. Plants sometimes grow stranded in mud and appear rooted. The leathery leaves appear basal, are suborbicular, ovate or broadly elliptic with parallel veins; bases are heartshaped, square, or rounded, apices rounded or flattened. Petioles are usually spongy-inflated. The inflorescence is a spike with light-blue to bluish-purple showy flowers marked with yellow streaks. The fruit is many seeded.

Interesting facts

This species is found in the southern U.S., Virginia to southern Florida, west to Missouri, Texas and California. Plants grow in ponds, canals, rivers, ditches, and impoundments, reproducing by vegetative runners or stolons. Seeds do germinate and produce new plants in some part of the species range.

Plants are notorious for clogging and desiccating canals and waterways in the southern U.S. By forming new plantlets, a population can completely dominate and obstruct a body of water in a short period of time. Native species are excluded, and large populations may affect water quality. Biocontrol agents (weevils and a moth) are having a significant impact on waterhyacinth populations.

Links to more information


Website, video, and graphics by Rob Nelson
For more information on this plant or management please contact US Army Corp of Engineers


Water Hyacinth Videos


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