Water Hyacinth, Water Orchid

Latin name: Eichhornia
Common name: Water Hyacinth, Water Orchid
Plant group:
Green plants
Plant family:
Pontederiaceae
Climate:
Tropical rainforest climate
Subtropical moist forest climate
Minimal temperature: 18-20°C (64-68°F)
Optimal temperature: 30-32°C (86-89°F)
Recommended place:
bright, am or pm sunlight
mid-shade
Soil:
don't need soil
Plant form:
roundish
columnar-grouping
Height: 10 cm (3.9 in.)
Flower color:
bluish
Rarity: no
Diseases:
Gray-mold rot (Botrytis cinerea)
Origin territory:
South America
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These tender, aquatic perennials, commonly known as Water Hyacinths are natives of Amazon basin, now introduced and cultivated in most warm countries.. These pretty plants easily reproduce and can become a huge nuisance if care is not taken. In some states they are illegal to sell and it is illegal to transport them from state to state. Water Hyacinths multiply so quickly that they can choke lakes, rivers and canals. E. crassipes has rosettes of shiny green, bulbous leaves. The leaves are kept afloat by air pockets in the bulbous areas. Spikes of flowers are produced on 6-inch stems, they are bluish to lilac, each dotted with a yellow eye. Each flower lasts only a day. E. azura is a pretty variety that produces pale blue, funnel-shaped flowers in pairs atop upright stems; they have dark blue throats and slightly fuzzy external surfaces. The leaves may be ribbon-like to spoon-shaped. This plant isn't truly a floating plant like E. crassipes because it doesn't have air pockets.

 

These plants need warm temperatures. In cold climates, they need to be wintered indoors in lighted aquariums with 70°F (21°C) or higher temperatures. E. azurea can be planted in containers and set under shallow water. E. crassipes simply floats on top of the water. It has a dense mass of long, black roots trailing underneath, which provide spawning and hiding areas for fish. When the foliage of this variety begins to yellow, move the plants to separate containers and add plant food to the water. Once they've gotten back to normal, rotate them with those left in the pond.

 

They reproduce rapidly by stolons and will need to be controlled.

 

Varieties:

Eichhornia azurea,

Eichhornia crassipes & var. major, aurea,

Eichhornia paniculata.