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Water Chestnut - Overview

Water Chestnut is native to Eurasia. It was introduced to the United States in the late 1800’s at both Fresh Pond in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Collins Park in Scotia, New York. By the 1940’s the Army Corps of Engineers was working on Water Chestnut removal in both the Hudson and Mohawk rivers. In 1998 it was recorded in the South River, a tributary of Lake Champlain, in Quebec, Canada.

Water Chestnut impacts water bodies in several ways including increasing sedimentation, and reducing available oxygen. The fruits, which will always land spike-up, are viable for up to 12 years, although most germinate within two years. Once germinated, the water chestnut plantlet develops at a rapid rate. Each water chestnut seed can produce up to 15 to 20 new rosettes and each rosette can generate up to 20 seeds. It can quickly produce a dense mat making canoeing or boating difficult.

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