waterhyacinth

Liliales > Pontederiaceae > Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms
Synonym(s): floating water hyacinth

Waterhyacinth is a free floating aquatic plant that has invaded aquatic areas throughout the eastern and southern portions of the United States. Plants can grow to 3 ft. (1 m) in height. The leaves are oval to elliptical, thick, up to 6 in. (15 cm) wide and waxy with spongy petioles. Leaves curve inward at the edges. The very showy blue-purple flowers are born on upright spikes. Each flower has six petals with the uppermost having a yellow patch. Waterhyacinth invades lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, and other types of wetland habitats. It reproduces chiefly by vegetative means and can quickly form dense floating mats of vegetation (populations can double in size in two weeks!). These dense mats restrict light to the underwater environment, reduce the light availability for submersed plants and aquatic invertebrates, and deplete the oxygen levels. Waterhyacinth is native to South America and was first introduced as an ornamental into the United States in 1884 at the Cotton States Exposition in New Orleans.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources


Selected Images from Invasive.org

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Flower(s);
Wendy VanDyk Evans, , Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Wilfredo Robles, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Leaves with inflated petiole
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Cross-section of petiole
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); single plant on sidewalk
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Dense mat of Eichornia crassipes, Water Hyacinth
Katherine Parys, Louisiana State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
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Infestation; habit
Forest & Kim Starr, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
Karen Brown, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
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Management;
Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s);
Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Invasive Reference(s):

Check Invasive.org for most current lists.
  • Alabama - Noxious Weed Law
  • Alabama - IPC List
  • Arizona - Noxious Weed Law
  • Arkansas - Noxious Weed Law
  • California - Noxious Weed Law
  • California - Invasive Plant Inventory
  • Florida - EPPC list
  • Georgia - EPPC list
  • Mississippi - 10 Worst Invasive Weeds
  • South Carolina - Noxious Weed Law
  • Texas - Noxious Weed Law
  • Texas - Invasive Plant List
  • Mid-Atlantic - EPPC List
  • Invasive Plants: Western North America
  • Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species
  • Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of New England
  • Invasive Plant Atlas of the Mid-South


External Links


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