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First Michigan detection of invasive hydrilla triggers response

From: Michigan DNR

First Michigan detection of invasive hydrilla triggers response

Aquatic plant found in two West Michigan ponds

Hydrilla, considered one of the world’s most invasive aquatic plants, has been detected for the first time in Michigan. The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy confirmed two small populations of the plant in adjacent private ponds on residential properties in Berrien Springs in Southwest Michigan.

The small patches of hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) were discovered during routine monitoring following treatment for another invasive plant, parrot feather, which was found in the pond in 2020. Both species are prohibited in Michigan, meaning it is unlawful to sell, possess or import them into the state, and both are on Michigan’s invasive species watch list due to their potential environmental threat. Hydrilla has several ways of reproducing, allowing it to spread rapidly, outcompete native plants and quickly form dense single-species infestations. Root tubers, turions (buds) and even small plant fragments can develop into new plants, making it very easy for hydrilla to disperse through water or attach to ornamental plants sold for water gardens.

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