Eichhornia crassipes, commonly known as common water hyacinth, is an aquatic plant native to the Amazon basin.
This plant is grown locally (Malta) by one of our partner aquarium plant keepers/breeders and is sold as a single plant in this product listing. The currently available plants are still small in size as they recover from the cold winter.
It is a free-floating perennial aquatic plant (or hydrophyte) native to tropical and sub-tropical South America. With broad, thick, glossy, ovate leaves, water hyacinth may rise above the surface of the water as much as 1 meter (3 feet) in height. The leaves are 10–20 cm (4–8 inches) across on a stem which is floating by means of buoyant bulb like nodules at its base above the water surface. They have long, spongy and bulbous stalks. The feathery, freely hanging roots are purple-black. An erect stalk supports a single spike of 8–15 conspicuously attractive flowers, mostly lavender to pink in colour with six petals. When not in bloom, water hyacinth may be mistaken for frog’s-bit (Limnobium spongia) or Amazon frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum).
One of the fastest growing plants known, water hyacinth reproduces primarily by way of runners or stolons, which eventually form daughter plants. Each plant additionally can produce thousands of seeds each year, and these seeds can remain viable for more than 28 years. Some water hyacinths were found to grow between 2 and 5 meters (7 and 16 feet) a day in some sites in Southeast Asia. The common water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) are vigorous growers and mats can double in size in one to two weeks. And in terms of plant count rather than size, they are said to multiply by more than a hundredfold in number, in a matter of 23 days.