Water hyacinth is thought to have been first introduced in the United States at the ill-fated World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition in New Orleans from December of 1884 through March of 1885. It was reportedly directly taken from there to Florida, and it has spread exponentially to become one of the worst invasive species in the world. Alligator Bayou is choked with the floating weed throughout the summer, with the worst infestations occurring in late summer. The beauty of the flower masks the ugliness of the beast.

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