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Water Hyacinth

Sceintific Name: Eichhornia crassipes 

Distinguishing Characteristics:
Each floating plant consists of several spongy leaf stalks that are bulbous and inflated at base; leaves are arranged in rosettes and are spade-shaped and curled upward on sides; leaves usually point upward. 
Plant roots feathery and finely-divided.
Big, showy, light purple flower.
Plants can group together, forming thick mats along the shoreline; on calm days, plants may scatter.
When grouped along shoreline, resembles Limnobium spongia, but hyacinth plants are never rooted.

This is an exotic plant.  If you observe this plant growing in the southeastern U.S., please take the time to report its location on the EDD Maps database at http://www.se-eppc.org/index.cfm.
Eichhornia crassipes taken by Graves Lovell

Eichhornia crassipes taken by Graves Lovell

Eichhornia crassipes taken by Graves Lovell

Eichhornia crassipes taken by Graves Lovell

Eichhornia crassipes taken by Graves Lovell

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