Waterhyacinth Eichhornia crassipes

Large, free-floating weeds with thick, dark green, glossy rounded leaves and purple flowers

  • English Name: Waterhyacinth
  • Latin Name: Eichhornia crassipes
  • Propogate: Reproduces through fragmentation
  • Symptoms: Huge canopy of large, free-floating weeds with thick, dark green, glossy rounded leaves and purple flowers on still or slow moving water
  • Dangers: Blocks sunlight from reaching submerged plants, affects boating and recreation

The Devastating Water Hyacinth Weed

The water hyacinth is rootless free-floater that grows in huge canopies that can stretch over acres of water. Sometimes it appears rooted but that is only when it is stuck in the mud. For a weed of such destructive tendency, the water hyacinth is not bad looking. It has rounded leaves that are thick, dark green and glossy. The leaves are on average about 5 cm across and hang from similarly thick more like inflated stems. The flowers of the hyacinth are almost spectacular in light purple with a centre that combines dark blue, purple and yellow. The flowers are lifted neatly above the water by a dense forest of spikes. The weed spreads so fast because it reproduces vegetatively from broken pieces of the parent plant as well as through large quantities of seeds. The effect is that when it get a foothold in any water body, it becomes almost impossible to eradicate them.

The Never-Ending Fight against Eichhornia crassipes & Water hyacinth Control

A water body infested by the water hyacinth is essentially crippled off navigation, recreation, irrigation, and power generation uses. Even where the water is flowing, the weed can greatly slow down the flow. The weed also degrades water quality by blocking sunlight from reaching submerged plants and by extension reducing the supply of oxygen for fish and other aquatic animals. Most efforts to control this terrible weed had for decades fared poorly, particularly in large lakes, until scientist discovered that two weevils could eat their way through acres of the weed with exemplary efficiency. The two weevils have since been successfully used in many countries to at least keep the weed under control. In small water bodies, however, traditional methods of weed removal still remain the norm. Physical removal is, of course, of limited efficiency because fragments of the weed remain behind to begin another round of fast growing colony. A more effective option is the use of the Deskuzzer. The Deskuzzer, is very effective in that task, because it has a long reach that allows one person to cover a wide area of the water from one position. The Deskuzzer is a 5 foot wide floating seine with sturdy abrasion, ultra tough screen, and a 24 foot pull line. It is one of our water hyacinth control products. Another great weed control product is the Lake Bottom Blanket. The Blanket, as it is more commonly known is a 10 feet wide sheet of formulated polythene that is spread over weed infested water to block out sunlight. It is made of lighter-than-water material so as to be suspended below the water surface yet far enough from the bottom as to allow fish to swim freely below and above the blanket. The complete blockage of sunlight kills the water hyacinth within a few weeks.