Giant salvinia forms dense mats on the surface of ponds and slow moving water. The mats block light from penetrating to anything below, impede water flow, and turn an otherwise habitable body of water dark and stagnant. Boats cannot navigate waters heavily infested with giant salvinia.
Giant salvinia is a free-floating aquatic fern which grows year-round.
The native range of giant salvinia is located in northern Argentina to southeastern Brazil.
Giant salvinia was originally introduced to the US through the nursery trade.
Giant salvinia thrives in warm, slow-moving freshwater habitats, including lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, wetlands, ditches, and cultivated rice fields.
It grows as an invasive in north, central and southwest Florida. It has also spread across the southeastern US, as it has been reported in TX, LA, GA, AL, NC and VA. In Virginia, giant salvinia was eradicated from one known location.
Giant salvinia was discovered in one pond in Virginia. It was sucessfully eradicated and has not be reported in Virginia since. Education is being conducted to encourage vigilance of citizen scientists and resource professionals.
You can choose from several ways to report sightings of an invasive species here >>
Go here for more info and photographs of this species >>
University of Georgia, www.bugwood.org