Water hyacinth

Quick Facts

Scientific nameEichhornia crassipes
OriginSouth America
Introduction1880s, horticulturists
Aquatic communityFloating
HabitatWater surfaces
DistributionStatewide, especially peninsula
Management effortMaintenance control
2014 public waters / plant acres:220 / 1,625

Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Populations double in as little as two weeks
  • Disperses by seeds and stolons
  • Harbors mosquitoes
  • Increases sedimentation by shedding roots and shoots
  • Dense mats prevent air and light diffusion into water
    • killing native plants, fish and wildlife
    • preventing decomposition of detritus
  • Mats jam against bridges and flood control structures
  • Reduces property values and local tax revenues
Eichhornia crassipes
Eichhornia crassipes
Water hyacinth
Water hyacinth

Management Options

BiologicalTwo weevil species and a moth larvae stress plants, reducing plant size, vigor, and seed production - plant hopper species released in October 2014
Chemical2,4-D, diquat, penoxsulam - occasionally glyphosate, copper, imazamox
MechanicalHarvesters or shredders at bridges or flood control structures
PhysicalOccasional hand pulling pioneer populations

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

Last updated: 30 December 2014