Pistia stratiotes

pistia stratiotes - water lettuceWater lettuce is a free-floating, stoloniferous perennial from the tropical/ subtropical regions of the world. Leaves are formed in rosettes, are densely pubescent, grayish to light green in color and up to 6 inches long. Leaf shape is ovate to obovate with a truncate apex. It reproduces vegetatively by forming new plants on stolons.

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close up image of water lettuce

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.