Eichhornia crassipes

Water Hyacinth is an aquatic plant which either floats on the water’s surface or roots in the muddy bottom. It is native to tropical South America but has spread to every continent. Its method of flotation is intriguing. Large intercellular spaces in the swollen leaf stalks are filled with air, so the plant is less dense and able to stay afloat. The large, pale violet flowers are very attractive.

It requires lots of light. This is not a problem in summer, but in winter it is necessary to provide artificial illumination. Alternatively, take the plant out of the water, lay it loosely on mud in a shallow dish and keep the dish in a light cool place at a temperature of 5°-10°C (41°-50°F). In summer it may be transferred to a garden pool.

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