Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms

Water Hyacinth

Monogr. Phanerog. 4: 527 (1883) APNI

Taxonomic status:Accepted

Occurrence status:Present

Establishment means:Naturalised

Herb, 30–65 cm high; roots plumose. Leaves with petiole spongy, short and abruptly swollen in young plants, more tapered and slender in adult plants (up to 50 cm long); lamina broadly ovate to orbicular, or transversely elliptic, (4–)7–15(–25) cm long (length to width ratio 0.5–1.2); base cordate, truncate or rounded; apex obtuse to flattened. Inflorescence up to 50 cm long (including non-flowering part), (3–)8–20(–35)-flowered. Flowers showy, 3.7–5 cm long, open flower 4–6 cm across; tube c. 1.5–2 cm long, slightly curved, greenish; lobes lilac, veins often darker; adaxial lobe with a yellow, blue-bordered central blotch. Stamens irregularly inserted at base of lobes, 3 greatly exserted, 3 shorter and just exserted. Seeds formed only if infructescence bends downwards and becomes submerged. Flowers Jan.-Mar.

*CVU, *EGL, *GipP, *HNF, *HSF, *MuM, *OtP, *VRiv, *VVP, *Wim. Also naturalised in WA, Qld, NSW, Central and southern North America, Africa, India, Malesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand. Native to Brazil. A serious noxious weed in slow-moving or stagnant fresh water (Parsons & Cuthbertson 1992). In Victoria, populations of this species have been eradicated or are controlled by current management procedures.

Source: Conn, B.J. (1994). Pontederiaceae. In: Walsh, N.G.; Entwisle, T.J. (eds), Flora of Victoria Vol. 2, Ferns and Allied Plants, Conifers and Monocotyledons. Inkata Press, Melbourne.
Updated by: Daniel Ohlsen, 2017-09-22
Hero image
Distribution map
life Life
kingdom Plantae
phylum Tracheophyta
superorder Lilianae
order Commelinales
genus Eichhornia
Higher taxa


Source: AVH (2014). Australia's Virtual Herbarium, Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria, <http://avh.chah.org.au>. Find Eichhornia crassipes in AVH ; Victorian Biodiversity Atlas, © The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (published Dec. 2014) Find Eichhornia crassipes in Victorian Biodiversity Atlas
  Bioregion Occurrence status Establishment means
Murray Mallee present naturalised
Wimmera present naturalised
Victorian Volcanic Plain present naturalised
Victorian Riverina present naturalised
Gippsland Plain present naturalised
Otway Plain present naturalised
Central Victorian Uplands present introduced
East Gippsland Lowlands present naturalised
Highlands-Southern Fall present naturalised
Highlands-Northern Fall present naturalised

State distribution

Distribution map
Western Australia
Northern Territory
South Australia
New South Wales