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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

Water hyacinth

Eichhornia crassipes

Common name:

Water hyacinth

Scientific name:

Eichhornia crassipes (Pontederiaceae)

Alternative common names:

Nile lily (English); waterhiasint; Nyllelie; snotterbel (Afrikaans); amazibo (isiZulu)

A perennial aquatic plant, free-floating or anchored in shallow water, usually 10-20cm high but up to 1m when growing in dense mats. It has dark shiny green leaves in rosettes with distinctive, swollen, bladder-like petioles. Pale violet or blue flowers in 8-10 flowered spikes appear from November to April. This aquatic plant invades dams and slow-moving rivers.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    South America.

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 1 NEMBA – Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Throughout many waterways in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Free State and Mpumalanga. It is particularly problematic along vast stretches of the Vaal River.

    How does it spread?

    It produces flowers and seeds, otherwise it reproduces by runners.

    Why is it a problem?

    Forms dense mats which completely cover the water surface leading to altered water chemistry and composition at the detriment of other organisms.

    What does it look like?

    General description: Perennial, aquatic plant, free-floating or anchored in shallow water, usually 10-20cm high but up to 1m when growing in dense mats; roots of floating plants long and feathery. Leaves: Dark shiny green occurring in rosettes with swollen, bladder-like petioles growing above the surface of the water. Flowers: Pale violet or blue, in 8-10 flowered spikes, upper petal with a prominent dark blue, yellow-centred patch. Flowers from November-April. Fruit/Seeds: Produces capsules with very fine seed.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Used as a fishpond or water feature ornamental.

    Plant me instead alternatives

    White water-lily (Nymphaea lotus), blue water-lily (Nymphaea nouchali), small yellow water-lily (Nymphoides thunbergiana)

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more