Beautiful though they are, water lilies can become a nuisance if allowed to grow out of control. In some areas they are considered an invasive species.

Early spring, the City of Waltham applies herbicide to the pond, as a means of controlling several invasive aquatic plants. In the past, these non-native species have all but taken over this shallow pond, and have required expensive mechanical harvesting to remove them.

The state-approved herbicide breaks down, we’re told, and does not remain in the water. The herbicide program has worked well — beyond all expectations, I’d say — with no apparent downside.

Water lilies are not specifically targeted by the program, but the herbicide does seem to restrain their growth in the spring, without killing them. They’re particularly robust this year because the water is low, making it easier for them to take root in the pond’s bottom.

I had been watching this bunch for some time, thinking the pads alone, even without the blossoms, would make a good photo. Their texture and massing appealed to me. I finally caught them when they were at peak, and the light was just right. The photo was taken on July 20, 2012, at 1:56 pm — not surprisingly, within two calendar days of last year’s water lily photo.

See related post: Water Lily*. Click image to enlarge it, and browser’s back arrow to close.


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