Officials with Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources are confirming the state’s first case of an invasive species. It’s called yellow floating heart. It’s a rooted, aquatic plant with floating leaves and flowers that resemble water lilies. Kile Kucher is an aquatic invasive species coordinator with DNR. He says a prominent Michigan family may be responsible for the species’ presence in the state.
“The working theory is that it was actually planted there by Clara Ford, Henry Ford’s wife. It was their property initially, I believe, it was donated to U of M - Dearborn as an environmental study area. Because it was in the Rose Garden Pond, it has been known to be a plant that has been sold for aquatic landscapes in the past.”
Kile Kucher, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources
Kucher says the yellow floating heart’s leaves can block sunlight and deprive native aquatic animals and plants of oxygen. He says the spread of the plant should be contained after DNR removed more than 1,000 pounds of the species from a rose pond at U of M’s Dearborn campus.