Aquatic plants

Why save Eichhornia & Lagarosiphon

Europe is going to ban both Eichhornia crassipes major and & Lagarosiphon major as early as January 2016.

Read how to Write to you MEPs

Eichhornia crassipes major - Water hyacinth

  • Eichhornia has been sold in the UK for well over 50 years with NO detrimental effect to the environment
  • It is not hardy so cannot survive a UK winter
  • It very rarely survives a UK winter in an unheated greenhouse
  • It rarely flowers outside in the UK as the climate is too cool
  • It is too cold and insufficient light in the UK for it to set seed
  • It is too cold in the UK for it to grow at such a rapid rate that could cause an issue
  • It is the top selling pond plant and the most profitable
  • It has been recognised it cannot be invasive in this country hence it’s recent removal from the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 SCHEDULE 9.
  • There is nothing else like it to replace it in a pond
  • It is excellent at removing nitrates and toxins from the pond, improving water quality, reducing algae and keeping the water clear
  • There are already regulations to prevent it’s sale in place in Southern Europe where it could be an issue, due to their very different climate, making an EU ban unnecessary
  • If this species can be banned in the UK causing a significant loss of turnover and profit for no environmental gain, it is of great concern what will be banned in future

Lagarosiphon major - Elodea crispa

  • This plant has been sold in the UK for well over 50 years with little detrimental effect
  • It breaths oxygen and hence life into a pond where many other oxygenators will not grow
  • It removes nitrates, improves water quality and reduces algae growth
  • A ban will increase algae growth in ponds across the country potentially choking out other life. It will also encourage the use of other oxygenators, the effect of which are unknown on such a massive scale across the country
  • We do not recommend any plants are released into the wild and this is true for Lagarosiphon
  • Although Lagarosiphon can be quick growing it is by far the best oxygenator for most ponds. It is already in the wild where it shares an ecological niche that is filled by Candian Pond Weed (Elodea canadensis) which is not native to the UK. Elodea canadensis arrived in the early 1800’s on logs and is found almost everywhere in the UK. Removing L major from the market will not allow natives any more “room” as E. canadensis is already there. No one has ever suggested eradicating Elodea canadensis and this would probably be impossible
  • Even native oxygenators such as Myriophyllum spicatum may have a detrimental effect as they tend to grow very fast choking out everything else then die back early allowing the pond or lake to be taken over by algae