FPL | Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth

Origin: South America

Impacts: Water hyacinth is a floating plant that can grow up to three feet tall. It grows extremely fast, doubling its population every 12 days. It forms thick mats over waterways, blocking boaters and preventing swimming and fishing.

The mats of plants also block sunlight from entering the water, shading submerged plants. The thick mats also crowd out other aquatic plants. Water hyacinth uses up most of the available oxygen in water, killing fish.

The United States isn't the only country struggling with this plant; it is a global problem currently affecting approximately 56 countries.

Currently, Florida has water hyacinth under control. It is, and will continue to be, a constant struggle, as this plant could easily take over waterways again.

Florida, Louisiana and Texas spend approximately $11 million every year controlling this plant.


Eichhornia crassipes

Photo courtesy of South Florida Water Management District