Quick Facts


Scientific name Eichhornia crassipes
Origin South America
Introduction 1880s, horticulturists
Aquatic community Floating
Habitat Water surfaces
Distribution Statewide, especially peninsula
Management effort Maintenance control
2017 public waters / plant acres 218 (47%) / 937
2017 Waters / acres controlled Hyacinth only – 49 / 597
Hyacinth / lettuce mix – 153 / 24,297
Water hyacinthEichhornia crassipes

Management Options

Biological Two weevil species and a moth larvae stress plants, reducing plant size, vigor, and seed production – plant hopper species released in October 2014
Chemical Diquat, 2,4-D, occasionally glyphosate, flumioxazin, penoxsulam, copper, imazamox
Mechanical Harvesters or shredders at bridges or flood control structures
Physical Occasional hand pulling pioneer populations

Environmental and Economic Concerns

  • Populations can double in as little as two weeks
  • Reproduce by seeds and stolons
    • seeds can lie dormant in sediments for years
    • mass germination when dried sediments reflood after drought
  • Harbors mosquitoes
  • Increases sedimentation by shedding roots, leaves and shoots
  • Dense mats prevent air and light diffusion into water, consume oxygen
    • displacing native plants, fish and wildlife
    • preventing decomposition of detritus
  • Rapid dispersal by wind and water movement
  • Mats jam against bridges and flood control structures
  • Reduces property values and local tax revenues

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Status of the Aquatic Plant Maintenance Program in Florida Public Waters, Annual Report – Fiscal Year 2016-2017.