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Photo by Robert Vidéki, Doronicum Kft., Bugwood.org

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Common Name: Hydrilla
Scientific Name: Hydrilla verticillata
Origin: Asia


Hydrilla is a submerged perennial that looks similar to american waterweed (Elodea canadensis), a common native aquatic plant. Hydrilla has visibly toothed leaves that grow in whorls of 3-8. Undersides may have one spine, or more, and the mid-rib of each leaf is often reddish. Hydrilla spreads by seeds, tubers, plant fragments and turions (overwintering buds).


This plant is tolerant of a wide range of environmental conditions and can be found in lakes, ponds, reservoirs, rivers, canals and drainage ditches. It has low light requirements and thrives in both high and low-nutrient waters.


Hydrilla spreads rapidly and can completely clog waterways and restrict water flow, posing significant threats to aquatic ecosystems and recreational resources.


A variety of techniques have been used in the United States to manage hydrilla, including mechanical removal, physical habitat manipulation, herbicides and biological agents. Prevention is the most effective control.


Locally Common

Additional Resources

Hydrilla Bibliography

For more information on the Tonawanda Creek/Erie Canal Hydrilla Control Demonstration Project or the Great Lakes Hydrilla Collaborative, visit:  http://hydrillacollaborative.com/