NINH BÌNH — Water hyacinth is a popular plant in rural Việt Nam. It easily grows on water and floats where the water runs and has flowers through four seasons. Even in flood season, when floods rise with the reddish colour of alluvium, the plant stays green and violet flowers sprout. The end of winter and early spring is the main flowering season of water hyacinth.
The plant had been considered useless, even harmful to environment as it prevents water flow and is an obstacle for water traffic.
Since the year 2000, locals in the Mekong Delta region have used the wild plants to produce rattan objects. The handicraft has brought steady income to people and helped keep rivers clean.
Its roots and leaves have been used as materials for planting mushroom and organic fertiliser.
The handicraft of making rattan wares from hyacinth was introduced in Kim Sơn District, the northern province of Ninh Bình later in 2005.
In the past few years, the trade has developed with products being exported to Japan, the US, Germany and Denmark. — VNS