Salvinia molesta

Salvinia_molesta_Issempa_Wikimedia Commons
Photo by Issempa, via Wikimedia Commons

Synonyms: The Salvinia genus is complex of closely-related aquatic ferns that are difficult to distinguish from one another: Salvinia auriculata, S. biloba, S. hertzogii, S. molesta

Common names: giant salvinia; karibaweed; water velvet; African pyle; aquarium watermoss; water fern; koi kandy

Salvinia molesta (giant salvinia) is a floating aquatic fern (family Salviniaceae) found in the lower Colorado River and its drainages in the Sonoran Desert, and in San Luis Obispo County, California. Giant salvinia was originally introduced for use in aquaria and ponds. It grows in dense mats that may completely cover water surfaces, preventing water movement, increasing stagnation, and decreasing available oxygen. The thick mats exclude native plants, animals and recreationists while creating more habitat for mosquitoes. Giant salvinia is listed as a federal and state noxious weed.

Cal-IPC Rating: High

Cal-IPC Assessment

Plant Assessment Form - Information gathered by Cal-IPC on the impacts, rate of spread, and distribution of invasive plants in California. Does not include management information.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

  • Tu, M. and J. M. Randall (2003). 2003 Cal-IPC red alert! New invasions, recent expansions, and a few others to be on the look-out For. California Invasive Plant Council Symposium 2003. Kings Beach, CA.

Other Salvinia molesta Information

  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • CalFlora - Distribution information based on submitted observations and herbarium specimens.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution information with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • Jepson Online Interchange for California Flora - Information on taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Federal database with information on identification and distribution, and links to websites in individual states.