Aug. 25, 2018

water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes

Today is the Freddy Krueger of wildflowers. A nightmare of a wildflower that kills in the real world too. This week the show is playing here. With accompaniment. Chuck spotted this and water lettuce in the ponds at Ives Fen Preserve. Both are terrible problems, choking out other aquatics. They even grow so thick they cut off the water's oxygen exchange, smothering plants below them. Water hyacinth is a huge problem in the South, where it can be so dense it chokes waterways and fouls boat engines. That all makes this the most beautiful wildflower I wish I'd never seen. This South American has now been reported in AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, KY, LA, MA, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OR, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, and ON. Ives Fen Preserve, 8/24/18.