Salvinia

Salvinia species
Family: Salviniaceae

Growth Habit: This aquatic species which originated from South America was first recorded in Queensland in 1953. It can grow rapidly and forms mats, which covers the surface of areas of water. Positioned in pairs along a stem, the long, stiff haired leaves have a root trailing from each pair. These roots look like wet hair. It can grow rapidly doubling its volume in 2&endash;3 days.

Type of Plant: Salvinia is a free-floating aquatic fern.

Flowers: Salvinia species do not have flowers.

Fruit/Seed: Salvinia species do not have fruits or seeds.

Dispersal: Salvinia is usually dispersed through human carelessness by people dumping unwanted aquarium or pond water. Salvinia reproduces vegetatively.

Distribution: Found in isolated bodies of water from northern Queensland to the New South Wales border and west to Mt Isa. Most infestation sites are the result of dumping.

Status: Salvinia is a Weed of National Significance.

Weed Impact:

  • Safety and health issues- Children and livestock can drown due to the heavy mats Salvinia forms
  • Interference with irrigation and stock watering
  • Loss of water due to increase evaporation
  • Pollution from decomposing plants causing a further imbalance in the ecosystem
  • Affects the food and shelter of animals within the ecosystem
  • Outcompete native plant species
  • Restrict recreational activities

Information referenced from “Queensland Government, Department of Natural Resources Pest Fact No PP12.”