Plant Description: Water hyacinth is a free-floating perennial plant that can grow to a height of 3 feet. The dark green leave blades are circular to elliptical in shape attached to a spongy, inflated petiole. Water hyacinth leaves are fanlike and slightly cupped. This shape makes a very effective sail and allows the plants to spread easily over water bodies when the wind blows. Underneath the water is a thick, heavily branched, dark fibrous root system. The water hyacinth has striking light blue to violet flowers located on a terminal spike. It is sometimes found stuck in mud, appearing rooted, and it is rarely found as a single plant. Reproduction: Water hyacinth reproduces by seeds, budding, fragmentation and stolen production. Daughter plants sprout from the stolons and doubling times have been reported of 6-18 days. The seeds can germinate in a few days or remain dormant for 15-20 years. They usually sink and remain dormant until periods of stress (droughts). Upon re-flooding, the seeds often germinate and renew the growth cycle. Hints to Identify Water hyacinth has shiny green leaves, round to oval in shape, four to eight inches in diameter, with gently incurved sides. The leaf veins of water hyacinth are dense and numerous so leaves stand erect. Look for a mass of fine purplish black and feathery roots hanging in the water underneath the plant. Common Application Questions Q. How much should I treat? A. The entire population should be treated as water hyacinth is not native to the region. Q. When is the best time to treat? A. Once water temperatures are around sixty degrees or warmer. Q. How often do I need to treat Water Hyacinth? A. Multiple treatments are generally required. Q. How long before I see results? A. It really depends on the product you choose. For most vegetation, control will take approximately 2 weeks however, tissue damage may be evident within 2 to 4 days with liquid formulations. Some products are slower acting with results taking 30 days or more to achieve.
Management of Hyacinth
Problems Water hyacinth mats degrade water quality by blocking photosynthesis, which greatly reduces oxygen levels in the water. This creates a cascading effect by reducing other underwater life such as fish and other plants.