What is water hyacinth?
The water hyacinth originates from South America, but today can be found in tropical climates all over the world. It grows in water, has large leaves and lavender flowers. The water hyacinth that IKEA uses is harvested in Asia where the plant is seen as a fast-growing weed. After harvesting, the stalks which can be as long as a metre, are stripped of leaves and left to dry in the sun. When they are completely dry, the durable, easy-to-work natural material is used to make baskets, rugs and furniture.