Water Hyacinth

Scientific name: Eichhornia crassipes
Abundance: plentiful
What: young leaves, stems, bottom "flotation pods"
How: boiled, fried
Where: marshes, water
When: all year
Nutritional Value: Vitamin A
Dangers: Raw and cooked plants may cause itchiness in some people. Also, these plants collect and concentrate any toxin/pollutants in the water, so only collect them from areas of know high water quality. Water hyacinth is very prolific and invasive which has resulted in many places outlawing its transport. This means you might get arrested for taking some home to eat. Water hyacinths are a free floating plant that can be very invasive.

Cluster of water hyacinths.
WaterHyacinth1

WaterHyacinth1

Closeup of water hyacinth air bladders.
WaterHyacinth2

Full plant removed from the water.
WaterHyacinth2

Closeup of water hyacinth flowers.
WaterHyacinthFlower

WaterHyacinth

More pictures of water hyacinths.
waterhyacinth1.jpg

waterhyacinth2.jpg

Texas distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture. The marked counties are guidelines only. Plants may appear in other counties, especially if used in landscaping.
WaterHyacinthTX

North American distribution, attributed to U. S. Department of Agriculture.
WaterHyacinth

Sadly, the invasive Water Hyacinths are choking Texas waterways. They quickly reproduce from just a small bit of root, easily covering entire lakes in a few months. Imported from Asia as a decorative plant due to their beautiful flowers, these floating, bulbous plants are an ecological nightmare. Due to their incredible ease and speed of reproduction, it is illegal to transport Water Hyacinths even if your plan is to eat it.

In Asian countries the "heart" of the Water Hyacinth is cooked up and used in a manner like artichoke hearts. They must be cooked to kill any waterborne, infectious microbes. To prepare, cut away the leaves, flowers, and fine roots from the core of the water Hyacinth. Boil this heart or thinly slice it for use in a stir-fry dish.

Privacy Statement

I use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit this website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.