Weed Spotlight – Water Lettuce
Weed Division Supervisor, Weld County Public Works
Water lettuce is another species on the watch list, the Department of Agriculture’s opportunity to evaluate a species to determine if it poses an environmental risk to Colorado.
Water lettuce is an aquatic plant that produces floating gray-green rosettes of velvety leaves. In the right growing conditions, water lettuce will form a monoculture slowing water flow, preventing sunlight from reaching into the water column and displacing native vegetation. It reproduces through stolons and seeds.
It can grow up to elevations of 4,000 feet. In warmer climates, it will grow as a perennial, while at our climate, it will most likely act as an annual. This ornamental is commonly sold through greenhouses. With proper management of this plant, Coloradoans will be able to buy and enjoy it for years to come. If you have purchased this plant, please do not release it in the wild. If the plant has reproduced too much, plan on composting the excess material or sending it to the landfill.
If you have any information about this plant existing in ponds, lakes or ditches outside of someone’s yard, please contact Tina Booton through http://www.weldweeds.org so we can limit the impact this plant may have. ❖
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