Water hyacinth

Quick Facts


Scientific name Eichhornia crassipes
Origin South America
Introduction 1880s, horticulturists
Aquatic community Floating
Habitat Water surfaces
Distribution Statewide, especially peninsula
Management effort Maintenance control
2014 public waters / plant acres 220 / 1,625
Water hyacinthEichhornia crassipes

Management Options

Biological Two weevil species and a moth larvae stress plants, reducing plant size, vigor, and seed production – plant hopper species released in October 2014
Chemical 2,4-D, diquat, penoxsulam – occasionally glyphosate, copper, imazamox
Mechanical Harvesters or shredders at bridges or flood control structures
Physical Occasional hand pulling pioneer populations

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

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