Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms

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Eichhornia crassipes

Photo: Mark Hyde
Mutoko CL

Eichhornia crassipes

Photo: Mark Hyde
Mutoko CL

Eichhornia crassipes

Photo: Mark Hyde
Mutoko CL

Eichhornia crassipes

Photo: Bart Wursten
Mana Pools

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Pontederia crassipes Mart.
Common names: Water hyacinth (English)
Frequency: Frequent, sometimes locally very abundant.
Status: Introduced
Herb, usually free-floating but occasionally rooted in mud, 4-40 cm. Leaves 4-8, clustered on short rhizomes, erect, very variable; in free-floating plants: petiole 5-10 cm, markedly swollen below; lamina 4-9 cm wide, ovate to circular; in older plants rooted in mud, the petiole is longer and not swollen. Inflorescence a c.8-flowered showy spike, raised above leaves. Perianth tube 20 mm, curved; limb 5-7 cm in diameter, slightly 2-lipped, pale mauve with the central lobe broadest with large blue area and central yellow spot.
Notes: A serious invader, rapidly colonizing and blocking waterways through extensive vegetative reproduction by means of floating stolons.
Derivation of specific name: crassipes: thick-footed or thick-stalked.
Habitat: Most often free-floating on the surface of dams and ponds, sometimes rooted in mud.
Altitude range: (metres)
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Tropical and subtropical America and widely naturalised throughout the tropics.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,S
Growth form(s): Aquatic.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Neochetina eichhorniae (Food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 53. (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 238 - 239. (Includes a picture).

Catarino, L. & Martins, E.S. (1996). The Pontederiaceae of the Flora Zambesiaca Area Kirkia 16(1) Pages 23 - 24.

Catarino, L. & Martins, E.S. (2010). Pontederiaceae Flora Zambesiaca 13(2) Pages 72 - 74.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 162.

Henderson, L. (2001). Alien weeds and invasive plants Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 12. Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa. Page 21. (Includes a picture).

Henderson, L. & Cilliers, C.J. (2002). Invasive Aquatic Plants Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook No. 16. Plant Protection Research Institute, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa. Pages 10 - 15. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 112.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 137.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 99. (Includes a picture).

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 448 - 449. (Includes a picture).

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 10. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Eichhornia crassipes:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Eichhornia crassipes
Flora of Malawi: Eichhornia crassipes
Flora of Mozambique: Eichhornia crassipes
Flora of Zambia: Eichhornia crassipes

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Eichhornia crassipes
African Plant Database: Eichhornia crassipes
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Eichhornia crassipes
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Eichhornia crassipes
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Eichhornia crassipes
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Eichhornia crassipes
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Eichhornia crassipes
JSTOR Plant Science: Eichhornia crassipes
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Eichhornia crassipes
Plants of the World Online: Eichhornia crassipes
Tropicos: Eichhornia crassipes
Wikipedia: Eichhornia crassipes

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Eichhornia crassipes.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=112960, retrieved 30 May 2024

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