Facts on the Hydrilla Aquatic Plant

Overview

Hydrilla Verticillata is an underwater plant that grows in fresh water. In most cases, Hydrilla is an unwanted invader that spreads through streams, rivers and lakes very quickly.

Appearance

The thin Hydrilla stems can grow up to 25 feet tall. The stems are generally 1/32 of an inch thick. The leaves are green and saw-toothed. Hydrilla has small green and white flowers.

Growth

Hydrilla is very hardy, making it even more of an inconvenience. It can grow in just 1 percent of sunlight, in water with 7 percent salinity and in water barely inches to 20 feet deep. It's also hardy enough to survive winter. Remarkably, the Hydrilla can grow one inch per day.

Geography

Hydrilla grows in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Pacific.

Effects

Hydrilla changes the chemistry of a body of water and its oxygen levels. The plant can clog drains and irrigation systems. Hydrilla also affects water sports, such as swimming and fishing. Since one tuber (a part of the plant that produces roots) can create 6,000 more tubers, Hydrilla is very difficult to control.

Prevention/Solution

Mechanical harvesters, herbicides and herbivorous fish are a few means of Hydrilla control.

References

  • Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
  • General Information About Hydrilla
Keywords: hydrilla, aquatic plants, invasive plants, hydrilla maintenance

About this Author

Meg Mulvaney has been writing professionally since 2007. Her work has been published in several newspapers, magazines, online and most recently in an inspirational book as a contributor. She graduated from a publishing course through the Institute of Children's Literature in 2007.