Giant salvinia is a small, free floating, introduced aquatic fern. It usually appears as branched stems with floating leaves in whorls of 3. Floating leaves are light to medium green, suborbicular, and 1/2 to 1 inch long and wide. The upper surface is covered with dense, stiff white hairs with distinct "egg beater" shaped tips.
South Carolina Law requires individuals to possess a Commercial Pesticide Applicators License in Category 5, Aquatic Pest Control, before they apply aquatic herbicides if the work is done for compensation on the property of another. A license is also required, regardless of ownership, if the application is made to an area where public access to the treated site is expected. Private swimming lakes, where the public would exposed to the treated waters, are the most obvious example of the latter requirement. On all public facilities, such as golf courses, driving ranges, subdivisions, condominium/apartment complexes and mobile home parks, applicators are required to possess a Category 5 License to apply aquatic pesticides.