plant Easy level

Pontederia crassipes Mart.

Sponsored by

Pontederia crassipes is a floating aquatic plant with very showy purplish blue flowers. It is widespread as a wild plant in all subtropical areas of the world.

Leaves are thick, waxy, rounded, and glossy and rise well above the water surface on stalks. The leaves are broadly ovate to circular, 10-20 cm in diameter, with gently incurved, often undulate sides. Leaf veins are dense, numerous, fine and longitudinal. Leaf stalks are bulbous and spongy. The stalk is erect, to 50 cm long, and carries at the top a single spike of 8-15 showy flowers. The flowers have six petals, purplish blue or lavender to pinkish, the uppermost petal with a yellow, blue-bordered central splotch. Water hyacinth reproduces vegetatively by short runner stems (stolons) that radiate from the base of the plant to form daughter plants, and also reproduces by seed. Its roots are purplish black and feathery.

Native to: Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Chile Central, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela

Submitted by
Natasha Khardina
2.1486111, 21.5136108

Warning: Undefined array key 1 in /home/customer/www/ on line 131
Geographical region
Drainage Basin
River catchment
Water body type
Water body name
Water body part
Water body course
Middle course
Water body: tributary of
Tributary name
Type locality
Bahia, Brazil
Conservation status/IUCN Red List
Not Evaluated (NE)
Listed in CITES

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Concentration of sediments
Water temperature
22,5-35 °C
Water flow/curent

Chemical parameters

Dissolved Oxygen


Plant form
Plant type
Plant size
30 cm
Plant growth rate
Plant light demand
Aquarium equipment

Pontederia crassipes can be grown in ornamental ponds, taking into account that it does not tolerate temperatures below 10°C, or even in an open aquarium, under condition that it does not shadow too much the underlying plants.

Plant care

Water hyacinth Pontederia crassipes prefers sunny positions, but adapts to any condition, even in the shade; the plants are completely floating on the watersurface, since the long black roots get their nourishment directly from the water column.

Water care

Nutrients and temperature are considered the strongest determinants for water hyacinth growth and reproduction.

It is also used very effectively in phytoremediation, particularly for the rhizofiltration of effluents contaminated by heavy metals. Pontederia crassipes is capable of bioconcentrating toxic metals such as Cr, Cu, Co, Ni, Zn, Pb, Cd, and As in its root system.