PLANT PROFILE

 

NAME: Water Hyacinth

LATIN NAME / FAMILY:  Eichhornia crassipes / Pontederiaceae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S): 

CONDITIONS: sun/partial shade, moist soil, water
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

 

 

 

 

Leaves

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520young

bland

COOK

Spring/Summer

Stalk/Stem

 

 

 

 

Buds

       

Flowers

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

 

BOIL/CANDY

Spring/Summer

Fruits

 

 

 

 

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

 

 

 

 

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

 

 

 

 

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION:

 

COMMENT:  Young leaves and petioles - cooked. Virtually tasteless. Javanese sometimes cook and eat the green parts and inflorescence. Flower spikes - cooked. (1) Leaves boiled or fried, young bulbous bottoms fried, flowers boiled or candied.  

 

CAUTION: All can still make some people itch after cooking, try cautiously.(2)

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  “Said to be used as a carotene-rich table vegetable in Formosa.”(1) “Herbalists in India say juice from the water hyacinth is good for treating fresh wounds to keep them from infecting. The flowers have also been used to treat skin conditions on horses.”(2)

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES: 

 

OTHER USES: Phytoremediation. “Water hyacinths are potentially an excellent source of biomass. Through an anaerobic fermentation process, polluted hyacinths can be converted to the natural gas methane - a costly process that may become more economical as supplies of underground natural gas are depleted. Dried and cleansed plants can be used as fertilizer and plant mulch. Eventually, living aquatic plants might serve aboard long-distance manned spacecraft, absorbing wastes and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, then being themselves converted into food…”(1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

  1. https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Eichhornia
  2. http://www.eattheweeds.com/water-hyacinth-stir-fry-2
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eichhornia_crassipes
  4. http://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/10/water-hyacinth.html (good photos)