Giant Salvinia Salvinia molesta

A dense canopy of tiny greenish plants growing in one or multiple layers on still or slow-moving water

  • English Name: Giant Salvinia
  • Latin Name: Salvinia molesta
  • Propogate: Spores, and vegetatively through broken stems
  • Symptoms: A dense canopy of tiny greenish plants growing in one or multiple layers on still or slow-moving water
  • Dangers: Disrupts habitats for water birds and fish; impede fishing, transport and recreational use of the water

Controlling the Giant Salvinia Water Weed

The Giant Salvania is an immigrant weed in the US. It originally belonged to southeastern Brazil and northern Argentina, but found its way to most tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, including most of the US. True to its origin, the weed prefers warm temperate areas and grows best in still or slow-moving water such as ponds, lakes, ditches, slow-moving rivers and canals. But it is also quite adaptive and varies its size and structure to the available conditions, especially space and nutrients. Besides using the spores to develop new plants, Giant Salvania also uses the conventional vegetative method of forming new plants from broken parts of the parent plant. And the weed grows very fast to dominate almost every water body that it finds itself in. That is perhaps where the weed's bad name becomes justified. In just about any water body it finds its way into, Giant Salvania quickly becomes a nuisance, disrupting habitats for water birds and fish and impeding commercial and recreational use of the water.

How to Resist a Giant Salvania Invasion

Physical or mechanical removal of the Giant Salvania weed is only effective in small water bodies and even then only has a temporary measure. But there are two more effective weapons against the weed. The first is a biological weapon called Cyrtobagous Salvinae. That is a two-millimeter black beetle that is at home both in and outside water. This beetle happily eats its way through Giant Salvania and has been known to considerably slow down the weed. Removal with the DeSkuzzer is another way to get instant results..