Quick Facts

Scientific name Hygrophila polysperma
Origin India, Malaysia
Introduction Mid-1940s, aquarium trade
Aquatic community Submersed, emergent
Habitat Wet soils to water 15 feet deep
Distribution Central / South Florida, many canals
Management effort Complaint management
2014 public waters / plant acres: 30 / 113

Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Forms dense surface mats, especially in quiescent waters
    • excludes light and oxygen penetration for native plants and animals
    • hinders navigation and diminishes flood control capacity
    • especially abundant and problematic in south Florida canals
  • Fragile stems root at each leaf node, allowing rapid dispersal and establishment
  • Expensive and extremely difficult to control
  • Most infestations found in rivers or in lakes near river inflow
Hygrophila polysperma
Hygrophila polysperma

Management Options

Biological Extremely high rates of sterile grass carp (in canal systems)
Chemical Flumioxazin most effective, frequent applications of various formulations / rates of copper, diquat, endothall, fluridone and 2,4-D provide marginal control
Mechanical Harvest floating mats – small fragments may start new infestation
Physical Hand pulling, raking

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Status of the Aquatic Plant Maintenance Program in Florida Public Waters, Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2009-2010.