Saturday, September 24, 2011

Water Hyacinth

@ mirandablue
Eichhornia crassipes, Water hyacinth
Water Hyacinth is an aquatic plant and is often considered a highly problematic invasive species.  Flooding in parts of Mindanao has been attributed to the piling up of huge volumes of water hyacinths at a portion of the Rio Grande de Mindanao, blocking the flow of the river.  Water hyacinth threatens the survival of other aquatic species because it blocks the sunlight's penetration into the water.  They clog water-ways, making boating, fishing and almost all other water activities impossible. 

But innovators have discovered the economic possibilities of this free-floating perennial.  Small-scale cottage industries are utilizing water hyacinth in paper-making, the fiber from the stem can be made into rope, dried stalks are also woven into baskets, placemats, area rugs, furniture, even shoes and handbags.  It can be used to aid the process of water purification because the roots naturally absorb pollutants; can also be used as an animal fodder and feed for fish, and it is ideal for composting.  The stalks, according to DOST's Textile Research Institute, are a viable natural source of alternative textile material.  I have seen cushions and home textiles made from water hyacinth fiber.  It is also an excellent source of biomass.

It looks like this serious pest turns out to be a profitable crop after all.

@ mirandablue


My contribution to Macro Flowers Saturday and Today's Flowers

19 comments:

Sara Chapman in Seattle, USA said...

That's really interesting about water hyacinths. I had no idea. The flowers are so beautiful!

Karin M. said...

A beautiful flower ... super nice color ...
LG: Karin

Cheryl said...

Wow! From invasive to completely useful. Unbelievable discoveries about this gorgeous plant.

Joyful said...

Beautiful. I've never seen one before.

Eden said...

Love this flower. Great macro shots.

SquirrelQueen said...

What a beautiful flower! I think it is wonderful that people have found uses for this invasive species. The pest could turn a profit.

Jama said...

Lovely photos!

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Very interesting. And it has a delightful flower! Well photographed.

Indrani said...

Interesting how this pest has been put to good use.
Great captures.

Kanak said...

Despite all the negative qualities, the flowers are really beautiful! We do have exhibitions from time to time of products made of the dried stalks of the plant. It's heartening to know that at least part of the clogging will be curtailed...even if it's on a small scale.

lotusleaf said...

The flowers rival orchids in their beauty! I was happy to know that the plant is so useful too!

eileeninmd said...

They are beautiful, I love the color. I wihs I could grow them in my pond. Lovley photos. I hope you have a happy Sunday!

Modern Mom said...

I didn't know water hyacinth is this beautiful.

Tiny White Flowers

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

A lovely bloom on this plant. Interesting that it is considered invasive. Great photo. :)

Denise said...

Your water hyacinth is so delicate and truly beautiful. Great photos!

Kim, USA said...

Very beautiful and I like the color of this one too. Thanks for the visit!

The Rose

Arija said...

Here too it is considered a notifiable weed but what is a wee but a plant our of place? I had never seen it in flower and they are truly beautiful.

Rebecca said...

These used to grow in our little pond...makes me wonder whatever happened to them!

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Beautiful flower.

Regards and best wishes