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Successfully eradicating invasive yellow floating heart

It may look pretty, with its brightly colored flowers and heart-shaped flowers, but yellow floating heart is an invasive aquatic plant that can quickly form dense mats on the surface of water. Those mats then can shade out native plants and cause problems for people swimming, boating, fishing or enjoying other forms of water-based recreation. In Michigan, yellow floating heart is a prohibited species, which means it is illegal for anyone here to buy, sell or possess it.

Two yellow floating heart infestations – one in the reflection pond at the Clara Ford Rose Garden in Dearborn, and a smaller infestation in a small pond at the Red Oaks Nature Center in Madison Heights – were successfully eradicated, thanks in large part to a strong partnership effort by the state of Michigan, the University of Michigan-Dearborn and the Red Oaks Nature Center.

In total, more than 1,000 pounds of the pesky plant were manually removed in 2016, and annual monitoring efforts since then show the sites remain free of the species. When a site is free of an aquatic invasive plant for three consecutive years, that species is considered eradicated from that location.