aquatic floating plants

Fairy moss (Azolla caroliniana)

  • Hardiness: Zones 5-11
  • Height: Less than 1″
  • Flower: Not showy
  • Foliage: Lacy bright green fronds that turn reddish in full sun, forming multilayer free-floating mats 4 cm thick
  • Comments: Leaves normally not eaten by fish; overwinter indoors; naturalized in shallow ponds, ditches and sluggish streams.¬†The sporophyte of Azolla caroliniana commonly survives throughout the year in temperate areas (with hard frosts and prolonged ice cover). It is the best adapted of all species for subsistence on mud.

Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes)

  • Hardiness: Zones 8-11
  • Height: 6″
  • Flower: Pale blue to lavendar flowers with yellow spots on 6″ spikes
  • Foliage: Balloon-like petioles swollen with spongy tissue; rosette of pale green, shiny, rounded leaves
  • Comments: Requires abundant sunlight and warm temperatures; long feathery dangling roots;
  • Varieties: Dwarf Hyacinth – grows to 6″ – 10″ in height; Florida Native Hyacinth – grows to 12″ – 18″ in height in Alberta¬†
  • Invasive in warmer climates
  • water hyacinth