Salvina molesta

Giant Salvina (Salvina molesta)
Photograph of a Giant Salvina (Salvina molesta) in my outdoor tub, a breeding heaven for my mixed live bearer community. This is a very aggressive and fast growing plant and can take over your entire tank or tub or pond or stream and lake or river very quickly. Origin of this plant is actually Brazil, but it had been introduced to the hobbyist and aquarists all over the world as a decorative addition to home aquariums. Soon, this aggressive species covered local water bodies choking indigenous plant species to death. Many countries, announced this particular species as an invasive alien species and a pest.

In Zambia, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) has described this Salvina molesta {locally known as Kariba weed) as obnoxious weeds under the Obnoxious Weeds Act, along with few other introduced species like Lantana camara and the aquatic fern. Among them Salvinia molesta or Giant Salvina has also been reported to be a major cause of death and depletion of certain forms of aquatic life including edible fish and reptiles, in Zambia.

It is not welcome in other countries, too. UNESCO World Heritage Center had to put Djoudj Water Sanctuary in Senegal under Danger List in 1981, because of the menace created by this introduced species. However recently, in 2006, Djoudj has been taken out of the Danger List of WHC.

In US, people have started providing professional help to aquarists and fishery owners to eradicate this ‘monster’ weed. A significant growth Salvina is also reported from Australia, Honolulu, UK and other parts of Europe.


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