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Salvinia molesta (D.S. Mitch)

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Giant salvinia, Kariba weed

Salvinia molesta is a floating, perennial aquatic plant that lives in tropical, sub-tropical or temperate areas. It is usually found in still or slow-moving water bodies, such as ditches, ponds, lakes, slow rivers and canals. In standing water it forms stable floating mats on the surface. Also, it usually lives in nutrient-rich waters that stimulate growth. It can also survive on mudbanks, and will tolerate some drying, but it is quickly killed by sea water, although it can tolerate lower concentrations of salt.

Salvinia molesta lacks true roots but its submerged fronds function as roots. Depending on space availability and concentration of nutrients, the plant shows great morphological variation. Its leaves range from a width less than 1.5 cm to a width up to 6 cm.

Native to: North-East of Argentina and Brazil.

Introduced into:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Borneo, Botswana, Burkina, California, Cameroon, Cape Provinces, Comoros, Connecticut, Corse, Cuba, Denmark, Fiji, Florida, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Hawaii, Hungary, India, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jawa, Kansas, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Leeward Is., Lesotho, Louisiana, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Maryland, Mauritania, Mississippi, Missouri, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Mexico, New South Wales, Nigeria, North Carolina, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pakistan, Palestine, Pennsylvania, Philippines, Portugal, Queensland, Senegal, South Australia, South Carolina, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Texas, Thailand, Trinidad-Tobago, Uganda, Vanuatu, Victoria, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, Western Australia, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Submitted by
Natasha Khardina
GPS
-12.7786970, 132.7563324
Geographical region
Oceania
Drainage Basin
Katherine River
River catchment
Water body type
Creek
Water body name
Plant
Water body part
Water body course
Lower course
Water body: tributary of
River
Tributary name
Katherine
Type locality
South-east Brazil
Conservation status/IUCN Red List
Not Evaluated (NE)
Listed in CITES
No

Videos

Water Chemistry

Water information

Water type
Fresh water
Water color
Clear water
Water transparency
Medium
Concentration of sediments
High
Water temperature
20-30 °C
Water flow/curent
Slow

Chemical parameters

pH
6-7.7
Conductivity
GH
KH
Dissolved Oxygen

Phytology

Plant form
Floating
Plant type
Carpeting
Plant size
cm
Plant growth rate
Fast
Plant light demand
Low
CO2
Low
Aquarium equipment

Salvinia molesta shouldn’t be added to aquaria that host herbivore fish species, as they will feed on the plant.

Plant care

Intense lighting and nutrients addition can spur the plant’s growth, while it has a low tolerance for high salinity levels.

Water care

Giant salvinia grows optimally at a water temperature of between 20°C and 30°C. The pH values should be maintained between 6 and 7.7.

Bibliography