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plant of the week: Cape-pondweed or waterblommetjie

The south african Cape-pondweed (Aponogeton distachyos) blooms in its original habitat from September to December. In middle europe the plants bloom from March to July. Now in the middle of March flowering plants are available in the pond plant trade.

The Cape-pondweed is a rarely cultivated as a pond plant. The most striking features are its biennial inflorescences with large white tepals and purple-red to black pollen sacks. The flowers rise out of the water between the up to 40 cm long and up to 8 cm wide floating leaves. They are pollinated by insects and form large, green fruits that can be grown into young plants with a little patience.

Aponogeton are seasonal plants that form a tuber for survival, from which they sprout again. To cultivate them permanently, you must provide the plant with a nutrient-rich substrate and a sunny place in the pond.
The plant is not winter hardy and hibernates best indoors, as is the case with lotus (Nelumbo nuzifera) and tropical water lilies.

A plant portrait of this pond plant rarity with some more pictures can be found at Heimbiotop.de (in German only).