17 July 2008
salvinia (water fern)
Salvinia is a true fern, adapted for a floating lifestyle. Needs full light. Works well in ponds or tanks. It is not considered 'frost-hardy'; however, it does seem likely that this plant could over-winter outdoors in very sheltered areas here in the G.V.R.D. of southwest B.C.
Salvinia is an aggressive invasive species wherever released into the wild in warm-weather regions, including Washington State. Never release non-native plants or animals into the wild, even via your toilet or kitchen sink. Makes great garden mulch, so if you have excess, use around your roses.
The hanging roots trail 5 to 8 cm below the water, making an excellent habitat for fish fry and fresh water shrimp. Salvinia can reduce algae growth by blocking light at the water surface and using up nutrients in the water.
Floating plants can help contain jumping fish, especially at the margins.