Water Hyacinth - Lục Bình

Bài thuyết minh du lịch tiếng Anh: Hoa Lục Bình (Bèo hoa sen - bèo tây)

It’s absolutely beautiful and yet a menace. In its natural environment it cleans the water. However, without any predators it spreads rapidly, overruns the water surfaces and brings the eco-system of lakes and rivers to a standstill. Water hyacinths are free-floating plants with lilac blossom, thick leaves and a stem, which can be harvested and dried to manufacture products.
The plant, which originated in the tropical waters of South America, was exported to other countries because of its beautiful flowers, where it was regarded as a decorative plant for ponds and lakes. However, without any natural predators, a plant doubles in size in about seven days and therefore spreads unbelievably quickly and widely. It clogs up waterways for ships, water flows more slowly and the oxygen content can fall so low that fish and turtles die as a result. Nowadays the water hyacinth is considered to be a menace in many parts of Asia and Africa, whose spread is almost impossible to stop.
Using water hyacinths
Just like other natural fibres from tropical regions, water hyacinths have been used in rural areas to produce small items such as mats or baskets for the local market for decades. The plants are harvested from boats, then the roots, flowers and leaves are cut off and the stems spread out to dry on land. During this process, the stems, which reach a maximum length of 80 centimetres, become their natural brown colour. They are soft and easy to plait. Most items are still made by hand today because the short fibres are not suitable for industrial production. In addition to small flat items, larger products such as sun loungers or chests of drawers are also made from water hyacinths. A frame made of metal or wood is needed for this and the fibres are then plaited around the latter by the skilled workers.
Ikea was one of the first companies worldwide to use water hyacinths on a large scale for producing accessories and furniture in 1996. The plants are harvested and processed for this chiefly in the delta of the Mekong River in Vietnam. Similar to bamboo, the plant grows quickly and as it already grows in water, it doesn’t need to be watered additionally – unlike cotton for example.

Lê Hùng Cường

Trong hình ảnh có thể có: hoa, thực vật và thiên nhiênTrong hình ảnh có thể có: thực vật, hoa, thiên nhiên và ngoài trời

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