Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is an aquatic perennial in the family Pontederiaceae, native to the Amazon basin. It is also known as Water orchid.

Water hyacinth is commonly encountered as dense mat, growing floating in water, with no need to anchor the roots. It has rosettes of rounded, leathery, waxy, glossy green leaves that are attached to thick, spongy stalk or petioles. Dark feathery roots typically hang suspended in the water, below the floating plant. The lavender-colored flowers are attractive when the plants are in bloom. The lavender flowers are marked with bright blue and gold, and occur in upright terminal spikes. They have six stamens and can grow up to 30 cm tall. The fruit is a three-chambered seed capsule.

Water hyacinth thrive in warm, slow moving water. It is an invasive plant, never grow it in open water course as it can rapidly cover a large area of water, choking rivers and blocking sunlight to other marine life. Its cultivation is prohibited in many warmer countries.

Propagation is by division.

Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eichhornia_crassipes_002.JPG
authorshipH. Zell
photo licensing

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