Eichhornia crassipes (Mart.) Solms, Monogr. Phan. 4: 527 (1883)

Latin for 'thick footed', reffering to the leaf stalk.

Eichhornia cordifolia Gand. [Illegitimate]
Eichhornia crassicaulis Schltdl.
Eichhornia crassicaulis Schlecht.
Eichhornia speciosa Kunth [Illegitimate]
Heteranthera formosa Miq.
Piaropus crassipes (Mart.) Raf.
Piaropus mesomelas Raf.
Pontederia crassicaulis Schltdl. [Spelling variant]
Pontederia crassicaulis Schlecht.
Pontederia crassipes Mart.
Pontederia crassipes Roem. & Schult.
Pontederia elongata Balf.

Herbs floating, 0.3-2 m. Roots many, long, fibrous. Stems very short; stolons greenish or purplish, long, apically producing new plants. Leaves radical, rosulate; petiole yellowish green to greenish, 10-40 cm, spongy, usually very much swollen at or below middle; leaf blade orbicular, broadly ovate, or rhomboidal, 4.5-14.5 x 5-14 cm, leathery, glabrous, densely veined, base shallowly cordate, rounded, or broadly cuneate. Inflorescences bracteate, spirally 7-15-flowered; peduncle 35-45 cm. Perianth 6-parted, segments purplish blue, petaloid, ovate to elliptic, upper one larger with yellow blotch at center adaxially, others subequal but lower one narrower. Stamens 6, 3 long and 3 short; filaments curved, glandular hairy. Pistil heterostylic; stigma glandular hairy. Capsule ovoid. [Flora of China]

Growing gregariously in pools, ditches, and rice fields; 200-500 m elevation.

The entire plant is used for fattening livestock, and as green manure. The young leaves and petioles are sometimes used as a vegetable.

Native to Brazil; widely introduced and naturalized in tropics and subtropics.

Local names
China: Feng yan lan.