water hyacinth(redirected from Eichhornia)
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Related to Eichhornia: Ceratophyllum
water hyacinth:see pickerelweedpickerelweed,
common name for the Pontederiaceae, a family of chiefly tropical perennial aquatic herbs found in freshwater. The pickerelweeds (genus Pontederia) range north into temperate regions, including most of the E United States and Canada.
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(Eichornia crassipes; formerly E. speciosa), a perennial herbaceous aquatic plant of the family Pontederiaceae. The stem is short, with rosettes of oval leaves. The leaf petioles are filled with air and inflated like bubbles to ensure that the plant floats on the water surface. The rhizomes are long, so that if the water dries out, the plant takes root in the muddy bottom. The flowers are in a spicate inflorescence with a funnelform lilac perianth of six lobes and six stamens. The fruit is a capsule.
The water hyacinth is native to tropical and subtropical regions of North and South America. It has spread to the fresh waters of all tropical lands. A pernicious aquatic weed, it forms dense thickets in rivers, obstructing navigation and contaminating drainage and irrigation systems. The water hyacinth is controlled by mechanical and chemical methods; in some countries it is used as fertilizer or livestock feed.