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Eichhornia crassipes

 
Eichhornia crassipes

Common name water hyacinth
Family pontederiaceae
Life cycle tender perennial (Z9-11)
Flowers lavender
Size 6-9"
Light sun-part shade

Floating aquatic plant, commonly used in ponds. It is native to South America, but has made a nuisance of itself in the warmer parts of the US where it can overwinter, by invading waterways, covering them and choking out native plants. Up in Pennsylvania, it doesn't stand a chance, so it makes for a useful, non-harmful pond plant. It thrives in warm water and full sun: given those conditions, it will readily multiply by forming offsets. In a pond, it will provide surface coverage and extract nutrients from the water, both of which can help to reduce algae growth. The lavender flowers, on stalks above the glossy leaves, are a nice bonus.

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

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Last modified: August 17, 2013
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