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What is a Hydrilla Plant?

Last updated date: 28th Mar 2023
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Hydrilla is a water plant that can become invasive. This plant lives in water. Hydrilla verticillata is the scientific name of hydrilla plant. H. verticillata is a monoecious or dioecious perennial plant that grows in the water. It has branching stems. The sessile leaves form whorls at the nodes, with 3-8, and occasionally up to 12 leaves per whorl. It comes from the Indian subcontinent. It is a dense mat-forming submerged perennial plant. Hydrilla can develop in practically every freshwater environment.

Hydrilla Classification

  • Kingdom: Plantae

  • Order: Alismatales

  • Family: Hydrocharitaceae

  • Genus: Hydrilla

  • Species: Hydrilla verticillata

Hydrilla is a member of the plantae kingdom because it has similar features as plants such as leaves, stems, roots, and fruits. It is placed in the family hydrocharitaceae (hydrophytes) because it has adapted to survive in water and aquatic life.

Hydrilla Plant Features

H. verticillata is a monoecious or dioecious perennial plant that grows in the water. It has branching stems. The leaves are 7-40 mm long and have a linear to lanceolate form. The vein on the lower side of the leaves has strongly serrated borders and spines. These leaf traits are frequently used to differentiate H. verticillata from other Hydrocharitaceae submerged plants, such as Egeria and Elodea spp.

The plant is rooted in the waterbed and has long stems that branch out at the water's surface, where it grows horizontally and forms dense mats. Hydrilla stems can reach a maximum height of 25 feet. Their stems are growing at a rate of one inch every day. Fragments, turions (axillary buds), and subterranean tubers are used to proliferate. Hydrilla can grow in saline water, although the salinity level should be around 7%.

Hydrilla is a plant was first introduced to Florida as an aquarium plant. In the early 1950s, it was imported as an aquarium plant from Southern Asia. It's grown in canals and rivers and harvested for aquariums in pet stores.

Hydrilla Diagram

Hydrilla plant

Image: Hydrilla plant

Aquatic Adaptation of Hydrilla

Plants and animals have adaptations that help them thrive in the environment they live in. Every species has its unique strategy for surviving. The aquatic plants are known as hydrophytes. Hydrilla is an aquatic plant.

Adaptations in aquatic plants - Hydrophytes are aquatic plants that float or live beneath water. They have hollow stems and specialised roots. Some have huge flat, floating leaves with a waxy coating on the underside. On the upper surface, there are stomata. Air sacs in the hollow stems of aquatic plants assist the plant stay afloat. They have specialised roots that assist aquatic plants to stay afloat or keep their position. These roots also aid in the plant's oxygen absorption.

In Hydrilla, thin ribbon-like leaves are present that make it easier for the plant to move around in the water. Hydrilla is a submerged plant (Rooted plants that remain hidden under the water's surface are known as submerged plants) with no stomata and a waxy cuticle on the leaves. The cuticle helps in preventing the plant from getting wet. Small, hollow stems enable these plants to float upright in the water and reduce water resistance. Hydrophytes either have very simple roots or none at all.

The presence of hairy and fibrous roots allows water to capture air and be absorbed directly into the plant. It doesn't need roots for stability because the nearby water's buoyancy allows it to float and stay erect in water. Epidermis, hypodermis, aerenchyma, and endodermis layers are present in the stem. The aerenchyma layer has air sacs that help in the floating and buoyancy of the plant.

Hydrilla Experiment

Hydrilla is a frequent ingredient in lab research. The Hydrilla plant is commonly used in practical work to demonstrate that oxygen is produced throughout photosynthesis. The Hydrilla Experiment is carried out in order to demonstrate the significance of sunlight in the genesis of oxygen. Sunlight provides the energy required for photosynthesis to make oxygen. Hydrilla plant is used in this experiment because it is a little plant, it's easily manageable, and it's an aquatic plant, which means it can breathe in water whereas land plants can't.

The Steps in the Hydrilla Experiment are as Follows:

  1. Place hydrilla twigs in a short-stemmed funnel and maintain it in a water-filled beaker.

  2. Place a test tube full of water over the funnel's stem.

  3. Allow the device to sit in the sun for at least two hours.

  4. After some time has passed, examine the device.

The Outcome and Observation are Discovered.

  1. At the end of the test tube, gas bubbles of oxygen are formed, and these bubbles are removed.

  2. Insert a blazing incense stick into the test tube, which will explode into flames, indicating the presence of oxygen.

This experiment helps to detect the oxygen production by the plants. It has been established that in the presence of sunlight, oxygen is released throughout photosynthesis.


Hydrilla is a small aquatic plant used for experiments. It has some adaptations that help it to remain alive in the water. The pollinating agent of Hydrilla is water. It requires less light for photosynthesis and grows very well in low light conditions like early morning and sunset. The experiments in the above article provide the necessary information about Hydrilla plants. This topic is helpful to clear doubts about hydrilla plants.

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FAQs on Hydrilla

1. What are the uses of the hydrilla plant?

The hydrilla plant is used for medicinal purposes and to treat various stomach issues. The plant is beneficial for treating indigestion and also includes vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Beta-carotenoids found in hydrilla plants have antioxidant action. Additionally, the plant is renowned for having a remarkably high level of calcium, vitamin B-12, iron, and magnesium. As a result, the plant has gained enormous popularity as a food supplement. These plants are widely farmed and consumed by humans in several countries as supplements.

2. How does hydrilla plants help in photosynthesis process detection? 

The hydrilla plant is a small aquatic plant. The small size of this plant is easy to handle in the labs during experiments. The plants have features that help them to survive in aquatic life and they can produce oxygen in the water. Hydrilla is a submerged aquatic plant with no stomata to receive carbon dioxide and release oxygen, instead, it breathes through its entire body surface and releases oxygen through this, allowing us to see the oxygen in the form of bubbles, something we cannot see in terrestrial plants. But the land plants cannot produce oxygen through the body.  The land plants use stomata for gas exchange. 

3. Where are the stomata located on Hydrilla plants?

The majority of stomata are often situated underneath the leaves. This will prevent the plant from losing water. As a result, the sun cannot evaporate the water that maintains the appropriate structure of the stomata since they are well shielded from it in the shade of the leaf itself. However, we are aware that hydrilla plants are aquatic plants and do not have stomata. Since there is enough water and little risk of loss or gain, these plants don't need stomata. In such circumstances, gas exchange occurs through a central cavity that is filled with water.

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