Invasion of Pretty Purple Flower.
That pretty plant flowering in your pond may be an invasive pond weed! It seems so healthy and abundant, yet you can’t remember planting it there. Water Hyacinth is sold in nurseries but will easily spread from ornamental ponds to adjoining wetlands.
Water Hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) is a beautiful floating weed originally from Brazil that was introduced as an ornamental pond plant in the early 1900’s.
Water Hyacinth has lavender flowers on a long dense spike. The plant can grow to be 3 feet tall, and it has dark green round shiny leaves that are held above the water by an inflated ball which floats on the water surface. These balls and leaves form in clusters, with purplish roots that dangle free below the weed. Water Hyacinth reproduces from seed.
This pretty flowering plant is considered by many scientists as the worst invasive weed in the world.
Water Hyacinth can destroy native wetlands, kill native fish and other wildlife. Children and livestock may be in danger of drowning as they become entangled in the roots. The heavy mats also create a haven for mosquitoes that can spread Encephalitis.
Large mats of Water Hyacinth will ruin water recreation by blocking waterways, clogging boat engines and degrading swimming and fishing areas.
The best way to prevent this invasive pond weed from spreading is to avoid planting them in your ornamental garden. If you begin to see the species in your pond or lakefront, physically/mechanically remove them before they flower and set seed.
Once well-established, biological and herbicide treatment are a good method for removal. Aquacide Pellets are a systemic herbicide that will kill the roots. You can also use Weedtrine-D as a fast acting contact herbicide, or Restore Liquid to treat the entire pond. Biological and/or herbicide control should be used in conjunction with physical/mechanical removal. Before using any herbicide, read the label and follow label recommendations.