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Water Fern

Scientific Name: Salvinia minima

Distinguishing Characteristics:
•Each plant consists of 2 floating, oval leaves (fronds) and a 3rd leaf that is divided and dangles beneath like roots.
The leaves are folded slightly along midrib; leaf margins may also be rolled upward.
Tiny stiff hairs present on upper leaf surface; these hairs are usually in groups of 4 but not joined at tips; the hairs on the surface of Slavinia molesta (Giant Salvinia) are joined at the tips appearing like tiny eggbeaters.
Forms layer on surface that is at the will of the wind; may cover an entire pond if conditions are calm; heavy infestations can shade sunlight required for oxygen synthesis and fish productivity. 

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.

Salvinia minima taken by Graves Lovell

Salvinia minima taken by Graves Lovell

Salvinia minima taken by Graves Lovell

Salvinia minima taken by Graves Lovell

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