Saturday, August 8, 2009

Beautiful Destroyer

When I brought the small plant of water hyacinth from the lake we visited with my class on a nature trip, I did not realize how fast growing it was. Within a fortnight, the plant had filled my little pond and subdued the water lilies already there. After a month , it was trying to come out of the pond and attack the flowers surrounding the pond!
The flowers of the water hyacinth are a beautiful lavender. Many of the lakes in Bangalore are filled by it. It is a big nuisance because it covers the whole water body in a short time , choking other water plants and fish.
People of Bangladesh have found an intelligent way to tackle this pest. They use it to make paper, or they compost it .


  1. Yes, the water hyacinth is both a beauty and a beast! A sister of mine had researched its utility as a source of leaf protein in human nutrition for her master's dissertation. It is quite a versatile plant but a weed is a weed!

  2. I know it can be very invasive which is too bad because it really is pretty. I have some in my pond, which bloomed for only the second time having them. Where I live they die once we have the first frost so luckily I don't worry about them taking over.
    I'd love to see pictures of your pond!

  3. Shailaja: That is a very interesting project your sister did.
    Catherine:Yes, the blooms are so lovely. My pond is a tiny one with waterlilies. I am waiting to see a flower.

  4. I found a 'beautiful destroyer' on the island of Madeira in the form of a ginger lilly - hedichium gardnerianum. It is a wonderful scented lilly, but it is a thug and completely overgrows any place where it is planted. I keep mine in a pot in the greenhouse!