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PlantFiles: Giant Salvinia, Water Fern, Kariba Weed, Aquarium Water Moss, Koi Kandy, Butterfly Fern, Cat's Tongu
Salvinia molesta

Family: Salviniaceae
Genus: Salvinia (sal-VIN-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: molesta (mol-ESS-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Salvinia auriculata

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ponds and Aquatics

under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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By henryr10
Thumbnail #1 of Salvinia molesta by henryr10

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No positives
1 neutral
5 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative frostweed On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Giant Salvinia, Water Fern, Kariba Weed, Aquarium Water Moss, Koi Kandy, Butterfly Fern, Cat's Tongu Salvinia molesta is naturalized in texas and other States and is considered an invasive noxious plant.
It is prohibited in Texas.

Negative MotherNature4 On Jul 21, 2005, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

PLEASE NOTIFY AUTHORITIES if you find this horrible exotic fern growing in your area. MN4

Negative caron On Nov 25, 2004, caron from Woodland Park, CO (Zone 4b) wrote:

Not allowed for import to the US and not allowed in any interstate or intrastate transportation without a permit from USDA APHIS PPQ (Plant Protection and Quarantine).

Negative jdurha On Aug 26, 2004, jdurha from North Clarendon, VT wrote:

FYI: This plant is a Class A Noxious Weed in the state of Vermont. Its movement, importation, sale, possession, cultivation and/or distrbution is prohibited with fines upto $1000.00 possible

Neutral weedseed On Jun 12, 2004, weedseed from Ferndale, MI wrote:

Giant Salvinia is illegal to sell in the U.S. It is possibly the worlds worst aquatic weed. It grows very rapidly. It severely diminishes the habitat for fish and other living creatures in the body of water.

Check out what happened to Lake Wilson in Hawaii when someone dumped Salvinia into it.

Negative dogbane On Nov 15, 2003, dogbane from New Orleans, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I believe this is an invasive exotic in Louisiana which outcompetes duckweed, an important food source for migratory waterfowl. It may be another species that I am thinking of, but it is definitely a Salvinia that we are having a problem with.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Rockledge, Florida
Raleigh, North Carolina

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