Water fern

Azolla filiculoides

Description:
Water Fern
Facts:

This plant was introduced as an ornamental pond plant and quickly escaped into the wild where it can take over a body of water very rapidly. It does not survive well on moving water but on still waters it forms dense mats that change from green in summer to brick red in the winter. Children and animals have been known to drown after stepping onto the mat of plants in the belief that it is solid ground.

Introduced:

Latter part of the 20th Century
Origin:
Tropical America
Location:
In ponds and stillwaters scattered throughout the UK
Status:
Increasing
Problems:
Comments:
Shades out native aquatic plants and can be a safety hazard.