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Salvinia molesta


This is a perennial, free floating aquatic fern.

Leaves are small, narrow, spongy, bright green and oval in pairs along the stem. The surface is covered with long, stiff, hairs. When the plant matures the leaves become thick and fold at the midrib. Young leaves are oval, about 1 centimetre wide and lie flat on the water surface.

Roots trail from each pair of young leaves. As it matures, the roots resemble wet hair. Trailing stems with small, hairy spore capsules may also be found in the roots of mature plants.

Flowers are not produced by this weed, reproducing only by vegetative means. Habitat it prefers slow moving streams or still water ponds with high nutrient levels and water temperatures around 20 to 30 ˚C.

Weed characteristics it can rapidly form mats that cover water storages, affecting water quality and flow, wildlife, irrigation, stock feeding, and recreational activities. The mats also create a haven for mosquitoes.

Dispersal under optimal conditions, it can double in size every two to three days.

Declaration Details

This species is a Class 2 declared plant under Queensland legislation and is listed as a Weed of National Significance.

How to act

Prevention is the best control method. Early detection and rapid response will provide the best chance of control. Mechanical or hand removal of infestations is recommended with ongoing monitoring and follow up required. Biological control agent is highly effective when plant is actively growing. Apply herbicide strictly as per label recommendations.

Refer to Weed Control Methods.


Related information

Salvinia © NQ Dry Tropics 2011
Salvinia © NQ Dry Tropics 2011

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