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Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Logo    Plant Management in Florida Waters

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
  • 2017 public waters / plant acres: 23 (5%) / 72
  • 2017 Waters / acres controlled: 2 / 12

HygrophilaHygrophila


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 public water infestations found in rivers or in lakes near river inflow

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 – 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 2016-2017.