common water hyacinth USDA PLANTS Symbol: EICR
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Aquatic
Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms

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Taxonomic Rank: Liliopsida: Liliales: Pontederiaceae
Synonym(s): floating water hyacinth
Native Range: So. Amer. (GRIN);

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.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Infestation;
John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Infestation;
Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Wilfredo Robles, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Flower(s);
Wendy VanDyk Evans, , Bugwood.org
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Infestation; habit
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); single plant on sidewalk
Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Dense mat of Eichornia crassipes, Water Hyacinth
Katherine Parys, USDA-ARS, Bugwood.org
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Foliage; Leaves with inflated petiole
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Feature(s); Cross-section of petiole
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, 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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Infestation;
Karen Brown, University of Florida, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

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
Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control, 2004
Faith Campbell, 1998
Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Gulf of Mexico Regional Panel, Aquatic Nuisance Species Annual Report, 2001
John Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Survey of TNC Preserves, 1995.
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Native Plant Society of Oregon, 2008