Water Hyacinth has spongy green leaves and purple flowers above the water.
Water Hyacinth is a floating plant with roots at the ends of the leaves. Submersed leaves are green, long, and thin; emerged leaves are wide and often spongy. The glossy green leaves can be slightly inflated or bulbous, up to six inches wide, and are formed in rosettes. Water Hyacinth flowers are one and a half to two and a quarter inches long and wide, slightly two-lipped, have six petals, and are light blue to bluish purple in color.
Water Hyacinth may be confused with Frog’s Bit, which looks mildly similar. Water Hyacinth spreads so rapidly that mats can double their size in six to 18 days. Mats of this plant can degrade the water quality by blocking the exchange of air and water, which can result in fish kills.
Water Hyacinth can be found across the southern and eastern United States as well as California, Arizona, and Colorado.