a garden update. water hyacinth

October 16 2013 002

i had a whole different post planned/drafted for today’s a garden update

one that went with the fall theme i am trying to go with on the old bloggity blog here this week

but, i couldn’t ignore the water hyacinth

it was by far the one thing that blew my mind the most in our garden this week

day after day, each morning there was a new one in the pond

mind blowing i tell you

so excuse the overload of water hyacinth pictures

but hello, there were four of them in the pond yesterday

and because i didn’t know much about the water hyacinth, i thought i’d look it up and share it with you

so here are a few fun facts about it:

water hyacinth is a free-floating perennial aquatic plant native to tropical and sub-tropical south america

with broad, thick, glossy, ovate leaves, water hyacinth may rise above the water surface as much as 40 inches in height. the leaves are 4-8 inches across, and float above the water surface

they have long, spongy and bulbous stalks and its feathery, freely hanging roots are purple-black

an erect stalk supports a single spike of 8-15 conspicuously attractive flowers, mostly lavender to pink in color with six petals

one of the fastest growing plants known, the water hyacinth reproduces primarily by way of runners, which eventually form daughter plants

each plant can produce thousands of seeds each year, and these seeds can remain viable for more than 28 years

the common water hyacinth are vigorous growers known to double their population in two weeks

first introduced to north america in 1884, an estimated 50 kilograms per square meter of hyacinth once choked florida’s waterways, although the problem there has since been mitigated

when not controlled, water hyacinth will cover lakes and ponds entirely. this dramatically impacts water flow, blocks sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants, and starves the water of oxygen, often killing fish (or turtles)

the plants also create a prime habitat for mosquitos (great, just what we need. it’s no wonder Will pulled most of them out of the pond when we moved in)

but they sure are pretty, aren’t they? (wink wink)

water hyacinth is often problematic in man-made ponds if uncontrolled, but can also provide a food source for gold fish, keep water clean and help to provide oxygen to man-made ponds

phew! i feel better now…

joining Annie for how does your garden grow

October 13 2013 011 October 14 2013 021 October 14 2013 024

October 14 2013 053

a Lily amongst water hyacinths

October 14 2013 056

October 13 2013 015

Will found her drowning in the pond (we have been here for over a month), she now has a much happier spot

October 14 2013 046

happy fish

October 14 2013 043

October 15 2013 017 October 15 2013 019 October 15 2013 021 October 15 2013 025 October 16 2013 006 October 16 2013 008 October 16 2013 009