Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Eichhornia crassipes

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PontederiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, submersed, emergent, floating, or on wet ground. Leaf: simple, alternate or whorled, +- in basal rosette or not; blade linear (especially underwater) to round, sometimes sagittate or cordate, base generally sheathing, veins parallel; petiole inflated or not. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, panicle, or 1-flowered, terminal but often appearing +- axillary, subtended by sheathing bract. Flower: bisexual, radial or +- bilateral; perianth lobes 6 (in 2 series) [3,4], petal-like; stamens 3, 6 (in 2 series) [1,4], from various levels on perianth tube, equal or not, sometimes 3 sterile, modified; ovary superior, 1 or 3-chambered. Fruit: many-seeded, loculicidal capsule [1-seeded utricle]. Seed: < 1 cm, longitudinally ribbed [or not].
Genera In Family: +- 6 genera, 30 species: most pantropical, some temperate. Note: Some cultivated as orns, some weeds, especially in rice fields. Pontederia cordata L. establishes from garden waste.
eFlora Treatment Author: Charles N. Horn & Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: EichhorniaView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb [annual], generally free-floating. Stem: stout, erect, often connected by stolons. Leaf: +- in basal rosette; blade generally ovate, round or cordate; petiole inflated or not, generally > blade. Inflorescence: spike [panicle, 1-flowered]. Flower: +- bilateral; perianth funnel-shaped, lobes 6; stamens 6, unequal in length; ovary 3-chambered.
Species In Genus: +- 7 species: native to American tropics, perhaps American subtropics, Africa; some widely naturalized. Etymology: (J.A.F. Eichhorn, Germany, 1779--1856)
Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms
Stem: > 30 cm. Leaf: < 10 cm wide. Inflorescence: 5--15 cm, few- to many-flowered. Flower: perianth lilac or pale blue to white.
Ecology: Locally abundant. Ponds, sloughs, waterways; Elevation: < 200 m. Bioregional Distribution: GV, SnFrB, SCo, PR; Distribution Outside California: widely naturalized, native to tropical America. Flowering Time: Jun--Oct Note: Plants multiply, spread rapidly vegetatively; perhaps world's most troublesome aquatic weed.
Jepson eFlora Author: Charles N. Horn & Elizabeth McClintock
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Noxious Weed listed by CDFA
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Botanical illustration including Eichhornia crassipes

botanical illustration including Eichhornia crassipes


Citation for this treatment: Charles N. Horn & Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Eichhornia crassipes, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 27, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 27, 2020.

Eichhornia crassipes
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Eichhornia crassipes
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Eichhornia crassipes
click for enlargement
© 2018 Neal Kramer
Eichhornia crassipes
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Eichhornia crassipes
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Rice
Eichhornia crassipes
click for enlargement
© 2018 Neal Kramer

More photos of Eichhornia crassipes in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Eichhornia crassipes:
GV, SnFrB, SCo, PR
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).