giant salvinia USDA PLANTS Symbol: SAMO5
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Aquatic Forbs/Herbs
Salvinia molesta D. S. Mitchell

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Taxonomic Rank: Filicopsida: Hydropteridales: Salviniaceae
Synonym(s): kariba weed, salvinia, water fern, aquarium watermoss
Native Range: NBE

Giant salvinia is an aquatic fern with floating leaves that are ½ to 1 ½ 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. After maturing, giant salvinia 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. Submerged fronds are “stringy” and resemble roots. Plants reproduce by spores and by budding of broken stems or attached nodes. Giant salvinia 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.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Plant(s); tertiary form
Mic Julien, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); closeup with quarter for size reference
Scott Robinson, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org
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Mic Julien, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Troy Evans, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; habit
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); "eggbeater" shaped leaf features
Barry Rice, sarracenia.com, Bugwood.org
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Foliage;
Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org
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Fruit(s);
Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org
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Infestation; This canal was completely covered by giant salvinia in a few short months. A dinner plate size patch of the plant was first noticed in the canal in late July. This picture was taken in early December 1999.
Scott Robinson, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.


Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
California Invasive Plant Council
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Gulf of Mexico Regional Panel, Aquatic Nuisance Species Annual Report, 2001
National  Wildlife Refuge Association, Silent Invasion: A Call to Action from the National Wildlife Refuge Association, 2002. Washington DC. 17 pp.
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council