BugwoodWiki Article

giant salvinia
Salvinia molesta D. S. Mitchell


Salvinia molesta is an aquatic fern that floats on the surface of the water. Submerged fronds are “stringy” and resemble roots.
Floating leaves are 0.5-1.5 in. (2.5-3.8 cm) long, oblong, and vary in color from green to gold to brown. The surfaces of the leaves have rows of arching hairs that look like little egg-beaters. When young, leaves are smaller and lie flat on the surface of the water.
This plant does not produce flowers.
S. molesta reproduce by spores and by budding of broken stems or attached nodes.
Ecological Threat
After maturing, S. molesta forms chains of leaves that run together to form thick mats on the surface of the water. These mats restrict oxygen and light availability causing death of the primary producers and disrupting the aquatic food chain. S. molesta is on the Federal Noxious Weed list and can invade most any type of aquatic system. The plant is native to South America and was first introduced into North America as an ornamental.


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EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

EDDMapS Distribution

State Invasive List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their invasive species list. For more information, visit Invasive.org

State Invasives List

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

Most Troublesome and Common Weeds
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Pteridophyta
Class: Filicopsida
Order: Hydropteridales
Family: Salviniaceae
Genus: Salvinia

Other System Links

Plants: SAMO5
Bayer: SAVMO
GRIN: 102979
ITIS: 181823
NPDN Host: 36842

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
kariba weed, salvinia, water fern, aquarium watermoss


Category: Aquatic
Category: Forbs/Herbs