Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta) is a submersed aquatic freshwater perennial species that is native to South America. It starts as free floating pieces with leaves. The plant consists of horizontal stems that float just below the water surface. At each node it produces a pair of floating or emergent leaves that are green in color with rows of white, bristly hairs. The leaves are ovate to oblong in shape. The upper surface of the floating leaves are densely covered in eggbeater-shaped hairs. Plants bear a third leaf that is brown, highly divided and dangles underwater. Submersed leaves are commonly mistaken as roots and as they grow to great lengths they act as a stabilizer to the plant by creating drag. Stems typically fragment easily, and dried pieces can survive for long periods. Under optimal conditions it can double its size in 2-3 days. Individual leaves can range from a few millimeters to 4 centimeters in length.