Common Salvinia (Water Fern)

Other Common Names: water spangles, water velvet

(Salvinia minima)


Salvinia is a free floating aquatic fern with two green lobes above the water.


Common Salvinia is a fern like plant with no flowers. Common Salvinia can be found free floating or in mud. It is stemless and the leaves underwater are modified into root like structures that branch horizontally. Salvinia’s leaves have two small lobes that whorl opposite of each other to create an oblong shape. Usually, its fronds have two leaves above the surface and one below. The leaves are light to medium green. The entire plant is less than one inch in depth. In a mature plant, brown may be seen around the edges of the leaves.


Common Salvinia is an aggressive invader and can out compete native plants. If common Salvinia covers the entire surface of a pond, oxygen depletions and fish kills can occur.


Salvinia can be found across the southern Untied States and a few northeastern states.


fragments, spores