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Uses

Toxic parts

Eating the plant, which is reported to contain HCN, alkaloid, and triterpenoid, may induce itching[1]. Fresh plants contain prickly crystals[1]. Plants sprayed with 2,4-D may accumulate lethal doses of nitrates[1].

Edible uses

Notes

Young leaves and petioles - cooked[2][3][4]. Virtually tasteless[2][3]. Said to be used as a carotene-rich table vegetable in Formosa. Javanese sometimes cook and eat the green parts and inflorescence[1]. Flower spikes - cooked[2][3].

Leaves

Material uses

Water hyacinths are potentially an excellent source of biomass. Through an anaerobic fermentation process, polluted hyacinths can be converted to the natural gas methane - a costly process that may become more economical as supplies of underground natural gas are depleted[1]. Dried and cleansed plants can be used as fertilizer and plant mulch[2][1]. Eventually, living aquatic plants might serve aboard long-distance manned spacecraft, absorbing wastes and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, then being themselves converted into food[1]. The plant can be cultivated for use in wastewater treatment, and can be incorporated into a system where the biomass is harvested for fuel production[1]. Since this biomass is a by-product of wastewater treatment, it has a positive environmental impact, and thus poses no threat as competitor to food, feed, or fibre-producing plants[1]. Wilted water hyacinth, mixed with earth, cow dung, and woodashes in the Chinese compost fashion, can yield useful compost in just two months[1]. Although potential yields are incredible, so are the costs of removal or attempted eradication of this water weed. Standing crops have been estimated to produce 100-120 tonnes per hectare per year[1].. Under ideal conditions, each plant can produce 248 offspring in 90 days[1].

Water hyacinth roots naturally absorb pollutants, including such toxic chemicals as lead, mercury, and strontium 90 (as well as some organic compounds believed to be carcinogenic) in concentrations 10,000 times that in the surrounding water[1].

In Africa, fresh plants are used as cushions in canoes and to plug holes in charcoal sacks[1].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Eichhornia crassipes.

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nitrogen fixer

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - Seeds can tolerate submersion or desiccation for 15 years and still germinate[1]. Scarification, but not light, may be required for germination[1].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Eichhornia crassipes. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

240, 200

Prefers growing in a sunny but cool pool[5]. Water Hyacinth is reported to tolerate an annual precipitation of 82 to 270cm, an annual temperature range of 21.1 to 27.2°C and an estimated pH in the range of 5.0 to 7.5[1]. The leaves are killed by frost, and plants cannot tolerate water temperatures in excess of 34°C[1]. This species is not very cold-hardy, tolerating temperatures down to about 0°c[5]. It requires greenhouse protection over winter in Britain[6]. Plants can be grown outdoors in the warmer parts of the year and then be potted up in moist compost during long spells of cold weather[5]. A very invasive weed of water courses in the tropics[5], causing great environmental problems in many areas where it has become naturalized. Subsistence farmers in Bangladesh face disaster when rafts of water hyacinth weighing up to 300 tonnes per hectare float over their rice paddies. As the floods recede, the weeds remain on the germinating rice, thus killing it[1]. Engineers have estimated that the Panama Canal would be impassable within three years without continuous aquatic weed control measures[1].

Azotobacter chroococcum, a Nitrogen-fixing bacteria, may be concentrated around the bases of the petioles but doesn't fix Nitrogen unless the plant is suffering extreme Nitrogen-deficiency[1].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Eichhornia crassipes. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Eichhornia crassipes.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Eichhornia crassipes
Genus
Eichhornia
Family
Pontederiaceae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
?
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    x meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    ?
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    "image:Eichhornia crassipes A.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:Eichhornia crassipes A.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    "image:Eichhornia crassipes A.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


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    "image:Eichhornia crassipes A.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.






    References

    1. ? 1.001.011.021.031.041.051.061.071.081.091.101.111.121.131.141.151.161.171.181.191.201.211.22 Duke. J. Handbook of Energy Crops - (1983-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.32.42.5 Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Wild Food in Australia. Fontana ISBN 0-00-634436-4 (1976-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.13.23.3 Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Manandhar. N. P. Plants and People of Nepal Timber Press. Oregon. ISBN 0-88192-527-6 (2002-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.25.3 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Conservatory and Indoor Plants Volumes 1 & 2 Pan Books, London. ISBN 0-330-37376-5 (1998-00-00)
    6. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    7. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)
    8. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)

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