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Salvinia minima is a species of aquatic, floating fern that grows on the surface of still waterways.It is usually referred to as common salviniaor water spangles. Salvinia minima is native to South America, Mesoamerica, and the West Indies and was introduced to the United States in the 1920s-1930s.It is classified as an invasive species internationally and can be detrimental to native habitats.This species is similar to but should not be confused with giant salvinia.


The leaves of Salvinia minima are small and oval, ranging from 0.4 to 2 centimeters in length.Each rhizome of the fern floats close to the surface and has a joined set of leaves that branch off horizontally.The leaves grow in joined sets of three, with two leaves floating on the surface and one leaf dissected, hanging underneath.This species is rootless but the dissected leaves that hang down act as root-like structures and are longer than the floating leaves.Fine white hairs grow uniformly on the leaf surface and serve to repel water. The hairs grow in groups of four but do not touch at the tips. There are longer brown hairs present on the underside of leaves as well. Leaves range from bright green to brown in color, often browning with age and in sunlight.

Salvinia Minima

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