Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms
Common Name: water-hyacinth, common water-hyacinth, floating water-hyacinth
Taxonomy: Division-Magnoliophyta (Angiosperms); Class-Liliopsida (Monocots); Subclass-Liliidae; Order-Liliales; Family-Pontederiaceae (Pickerelweed Family); Genus-Eichhornia.
Description: Floating plants with thick, glossy leaves, inflated petioles and spikes of lavender flowers.Native Range: Brazil, South America.
The Water Hyacinth is a destructive aquatic weed also know as:
Grows into dense impenetrable mats in fresh water:
People have starved in Third World Countries:
Survivability of the Plant:
Propagates in three ways:
Any cutting from the plant takes root and grows
Shoots a “runner” and begins a new plant
Self-pollinates if insects do not
Seeds may number as many as 45 million per acre and can lay dormant for 15 years.
Easily adapts to terrestrial environments and now adapting to colder and colder climates
Fully grown in 6 weeks and doubles area of coverage every five days when mature.
States where Water Hyacinth is reported as invasive*: CA, DE, FL, GA, LA, TX
Three Means of Eradication and Control:
Range indicates presence in at least one site within a drainage (USGS Hydrologic Unit 8), but does not necessarily imply occurrence throughout.
Nonindigenous Occurrences: Established and self sustaining in over 150 U.S. drainage basins in 10 states. Recently found persisting as far north as the Lower Chesapeake [P. Baldwin s.n. (WILLI)] and Tidewater regions of coastal Virginia (pers. comm. L. Swanson, VA Coop. Ext. Agency). Weedy in North Carolina north and inland to the Upper Tar and Neuse River drainages (pers. comm. Stratford Kay, NC State Univ.). Intermittently distributed in Georgia and Mississippi. Often extemely problematic in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and eastern Texas. Also established in California and Hawaii.
Waif or nonpermanent populations have been reported from more temperate states including New Jersey, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas where plants apparently escape summertime cultivation to grow as annuals, but do not persist vegetatively through the winter. Water-hyacinth is stocked annually in private fish ponds throughout southern Arizona and in Delaware at old mill ponds. It has been reported from the Great Cypress Swamp, southern Delaware and from isolated, natural locals in New Jersey. Water-hyacinth is capable of reproducing by seed. However, it is not known if recurrence by seed plays a role in the waif populations of these temperate states. October 2002 First recorded for the state of Illinois in the Fox River Chain O' Lakes in the Upper Fox drainage where several hundred plants were documented, although none are expected to overwinter (Marencik s.n. FLAS; pers. comm. J. Marencik, Lake Co. Health Dept, CNC). December 2002 Reported for Maryland in 1998 at a pond near Lake Shore, in the Severn Drainage; this site will be checked during the 2003 growing season to see if the plants have persisited (pers. comm. W. Sipple, EPA). October 2003 Several plants were reported from the Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where plants were found growing along a drainage ditch located just below a spillway for a small, recreational, fish stocked pond. All of the plants were manually removed and the site will be monitored for future occurrences (pers. comm. S. Hardcastle and J. Christensen, AR Air National Guard).
Author: C.C. Jacono and M.M. Richerson
Revision Date: 22 Oct. 2003
•US States/Countries Spend Millions to Control the Plants