Monday, March 21, 2011

New Aquatic Invasive Alert for Florida

Red Root floater ,Phyllanthus fluitans, is a freshwater species native to South America and is the sole free-floating aquatic species of the large genus Phyllanthus. Common names of P. fluitans include red root floater and floating spurge. In 2010, red root floater was found growing in a canal and tributaries in, and near, the Peace River, Desoto County, Florida.
Because red root floater is a popular aquarium plant, it may have been introduced via the aquarium-plant trade. Red root floater can produce a closed canopy over water; and in backwater areas, small isolated populations can be difficult to find. Scientists fear if this species expands its range, it may become as problematical in Florida as have the South American water lettuce and water hyacinth, also canopy-producers.
Guide to Identification with pictures pdf which you can print.
Link to Red Root Floater page in IFAS, UFL, with more information including possible control measures.