Salvinia molesta

Salvinia_molesta_Issempa_Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Issempa, via Wikimedia Commons

Synonyms: The Salvinia genus is a 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 is native to Brazil. 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?

CDFA Rating: -*?


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.

Weed Management Notes

  • Management Notes - Information on management techniques and effectiveness from the University of California Cooperative Extension’s Weed Research & Information Center.

Cal-IPC Newsletter Articles

Cal-IPC Symposium Presentations

Presentations are linked where available. Where a presentation is not available, find more information by reading the abstract in the Cal-IPC Symposia Archive.

There are no Symposium presentations associated with this species yet.

Other Salvinia molesta Information

  • Bugwood - National database from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
  • CalPhotos - Images of plants taken mostly in California.
  • Calflora - Distribution map and records of this species in California.
  • CalWeedMapper - Distribution map of this species in California with ability to determine regional priorities.
  • EDDMapS - Distribution of this species in North America.
  • Jepson Interchange - Information on this plant's taxonomy, biology, and distribution from UC Berkeley's Jepson Herbarium.
  • USDA PLANTS Database - Information on identification and distribution, with links to websites in individual states.
  • Additional photos

    Salvinia molesta_leaf(close-up)_copyright2001_CDFA
    Salvinia molesta (giant Salvinia) leaf (close-up). Photo: &#169 2001 CDFA