Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The genus of monocotyledonous plants of the family Pontederiaceæ, which includes the water-hyacinth, a choice aquatic plant in conservatories of the northern United States and a pestilent river-weed in Florida and Louisiana. The water-hyacinth is most commonly known to florists as Pontederia azurea or P. crassipes, but the recently accepted disposition is to place it in the allied genus Piaropus, where it is known as P. crassipes. The specific name azurea really belongs to an allied species, P. azureus, differing from the common water-hyacinth in not having inflated petioles. Technically, Piaropus differs from
Pontederiain having the mature ovary 3-partitioned and many-ovuled. Piaropus crassipes (Eichhornia speciosa of Kunth) is a floating plant from Brazil, bearing bladder-like buoys made by the expansion of the hollow petioles. The leaf-blades are ovate and entire. The showy flowers are borne in an erect cluster, pale violet in color marked with blue and yellow. In the St. John's river, Florida, the plant has become so abundant as to impede navigation. In shallow water it roots in the mud.
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