We are currently considering our position on Water hyacinths as they have been banned in Europe as an invasive species. Whilst this is true for some of the warmer European countries as anyone who has grown them in the UK knows it is totally inappropriate here as they are incapable of surviving our winter.
Showiest of all the floating plants with shiny green foliage and lovely pale lavender-blue flowers from June to August but please note it requires a hot summer to produce flowers -so in many years will not! A very unusual plant where the floating leaf stems are inflated like balloons to give buoyancy keeping the thick green leaves above the water. Provides shelter and resting places for insects and amphibians. Excellent at removing nitrates from the water and therefore controlling algae these plants are not hardy so will blacken and die back at first sign of frosts. Remove any blackening plants from pond and compost which permanently removes nitrates from the pond. Can be over-wintered indoors or a warm greenhouse but survival not guaranteed. A very fast grower it should only be used in smaller ponds where it can be easily controlled.