Hydrilla: An Aggressive Water Weed
Upcoming events and volunteer opportunities
New Hydrilla Program Manager James Balyszak will coordinate hydrilla eradication efforts in the Cayuga Inlet.
The Cayuga Lake & Cayuga Inlet Aquatic Plant Community 2012 reports on extensive sampling of hydrill and other aquatic plants. Note that the file is very large, 31MB.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT HYDRILLA VERTICILLATA
- Is commonly known as hydrilla and water thyme.
- Has been found in Cayuga Inlet, Ithaca (August 2011).
o Not yet know to be rooted in Cayuga Lake (August 2012).
- Is one of the world’s most invasive plants.
- Can grow up to a foot a day.
- Forms thick dense mats that block sunlight and kill native plants.
- Reduces oxygen in the water and alters fish habitat.
- Eliminates waterfowls feeding areas and fish spawning sites.
- Obstructs boating, swimming, and fishing.
- Lowers the value of waterfront property.
- Blocks intakes at water treatment, power generation, and industrial facilities.
- Clogs flood control channels.
- Hydrilla has pointed, bright green leaves about 5/8 inches long.
- Leaves grow in whorls of 3 - 10 along the stem; 5 is most common. Leaves have small spines on the edges and at the tips, with a reddish center spine.
- The most identifying characterists are the small, white to yellowish, potato-like tubers attached to the roots and the white floating flowers.
- One-page update with hydrilla and look-a-likes (206 kb pdf).
- The Cayuga Lake Watershed Network published an Invasive Weed Identification Guide in 2005 that covers dozens of invasive plants and the native plants they sometimes look like. (The image above was taken from this publication.)
Read more about hydrilla