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Water hyacinth
Common Water hyacinth.jpg
Common water hyacinth (Pontederia crassipes)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Clade: Commelinids
Order: Commelinales
Family: Pontederiaceae
Genus: Eichhornia

Four species (from Pellegrini et al. 2018)[1]:
Eichhornia azurea - Anchored water hyacinth
Eichhornia diversifolia - Variableleaf water hyacinth
Eichhornia heterosperma
Eichhornia natans

Eichhornia, commonly called water hyacinths, was a polyphyletic genus of the aquatic flowering plants family Pontederiaceae. Since it was consistently recovered in three independent lineages, it has been sunk into Pontederia, together with Monochoria. Each of the three lineages is currently recognized as subgenera in Pontederia:

Pontederia subg. Eichhornia is pantropical, centered in South America but with P. natans being endemic to continental Africa and Madagascar. The other three species are restricted to the Neotropics.

It was named in honour of Friedrich Eichhorn [de], an early-19th-century Prussian minister of education.[2]


Its species are perennial aquatic plants (or hydrophytes) with prostrate and densely branched stems. The inflorescences can have one to 30 conspicuously attractive flowers, mostly lavender to pink in colour, rarely white.


  1. ^ Pellegrini, M. O. O.; Horn, C. N. & Alemida, R. F. (2018). "Total evidence phylogeny of Pontederiaceae (Commelinales) sheds light on the necessity of its recircumscription and synopsis of Pontederia L." PhytoKeys (108): 25–83. doi:10.3897/phytokeys.108.27652. PMC 6160854. PMID 30275733.
  2. ^ Umberto Quattrocchi (19 April 2016). CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants. CRC Press. p. 1524. ISBN 978-1-4822-5064-0. Named after Johann Albrecht Friedrich Eichhorn, [...] a Prussian minister of education and public welfare, court advisor

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