Facts and figures regarding hydrilla
These are some of the true and scary facts regarding Hydrilla problems.
Hydrilla is considered the most problematic aquatic plant in the United States. In the 1990s hydrilla is now well-established in the southern states where control and management costs millions of dollars each year. Florida spent $56 million dollars for control during a ten-year period and, during this time, the acreage doubled.
Hydrilla forms dense mats of vegetation that interfere with recreation and destroy fish and wildlife habitat. Unlike other problem aquatic plants, like Brazilian elodea, that reproduce only by fragmentation, this spreads by seeds, tubers, plant fragments, and turions (overwintering buds). One
square meter of hydrilla can produce 5,000 tubers. Once established, it is readily spread by waterfowl and boating activities. It can very easily take over your water life.
Hydrilla has several advantages over other plants. It will grow with less light and is more efficient at taking up nutrients than other plants. It also has extremely effective methods of propagation. Besides making seeds (seedlings are actually rarely seen in nature), it can sprout new plants from root fragments or stem fragments containing as few as two whorls of leaves. Recreational users can easily spread these small fragments from waterbody to waterbody.
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However, hydrilla's real secret to success is its ability to produce structures called turions and tubers. (Presence of these structures is also a characteristic which distinguishes this plant from similar looking plants.) Turions are compact "buds" produced along the leafy stems. They break free of the parent plant and drift or settle to the bottom to start new plants. They are 1/4 inch long, dark green, and appear spiny. Tubers are underground and form at the end of roots. Hydrilla produces an abundance of tubers and turions in the fall. Tubers may remain dormant for several years in the sediment. Tubers and turions can withstand ice cover, drying, herbicides, and ingestion and regurgitation by waterfowl.
For application instructions see our How to Apply Hydrilla Killer