Water spangles

Salvinia minima -- Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Salvinia minima

Non-Native to Florida

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CATEGORY I on the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's (FLEPPC) 2013 List of Invasive Plant Species


    Salvinia plants are floating ferns native to tropical America. There are 10 species of Salvinia in the world, none of which are native to the United States. This species is about 3/4 inch in width. It commonly occurs in freshwater ponds and swamps from the peninsula to the central panhandle of Florida (Wunderlin, 2003).

    Water fern has joined oval leaves. Its leaf surfaces are covered with stiff hairs. Water fern has root-like structures which are actually modified fronds.

    Occurs almost always (estimated probability 99%) under natural conditions in wetlands.

    Appearance: Free-floating fern; stems rootless, hairy, about 10 cm (4 in) long.

    Leaves: Borne in threes; appear 2-ranked, but with 3rd leaf finely dissected and dangling, resembling roots; rounded to somewhat broadly elliptic, 1–1.5 cm (0.4–1 in) long, with cordate base, upper surface with 4-pronged hairs, lower surface hairy.

    Spores: In a nutlike sporocarp (a multicellular structure), trailing beneath.

    Text from Invasive and Non-Native Plants You Should Know, Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey, 2007. UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Publ. No. SP 431.

    Download the Recognition Card (PDF 743 KB).

    For brief control information, see Efficacy of Herbicide Active Ingredients Against Aquatic Weeds by K. Langeland, M. Netherland, and W. Haller.