East Texas Naturalist Blog

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Don't Worry About All Those Masses of Green Plants on Lake O' the Pines! The Hippos Will Eat Them!


Within the past couple of weeks, Lake O' the Pines has been inundated with clumps of floating plants.  Some of these clumps are more like floating islands, up to twenty feet across.  Most are smaller a foot or two up to three of four feet across but there are so many of them.  It is astounding.  Some old time residents said they had never seen anything like it here before.

So what are all these clumps of plants and where did they come from?  

It turns out that they are water hyacinths, Eichornia crassipes, and are an invasive species native to tropical and sub-tropical South America.  These plants are one of the worse invaders in many countries through out the world.  They were widely introduced in North America, New Zealand, Africa, Asia and Australia.  In many areas they caused serious damage.

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