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An extremely invasive exotic plant. Classified as a floating fern, giant salvinia can double its biomass in less than a week and may form thick (>3 ft) mats.
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Found in still water (drainage ditches, canals, ponds and lakes). Widespread growth of this plant can result in impeded boat navigation and movement of water.
An identifying feature is the presence of "egg-beater" shaped leaf hairs on the upper surface of each leaf. Located beneath the green floating leaves are dark brown feathery appendages resembling roots, which are actually modified leaves.
Salvinia minima has star-shaped leaf hairs.
Whether you're a professional botanist or a casual nature enthusiast, the NC State University (NCSU) Aquatic Weeds app has detailed information on a wide variety of aquatic weeds to assist in identification.
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