Floating and Submerged Aquatic Plants

Duck weed
Duck weed

Duckweed ‘Lemna spp’

Duckweed tend to be associated with fertile, even eutrophic conditions. They can be spread by waterfowl and small mammals, transported inadvertently on their feet and bodies as well as by moving water. Duckweed is an important high-protein food source for waterfowl and also is eaten by humans in some parts of the world as it contains more protein than soybeans. The tiny plants provide shelter cover for many aquatic species. The plants are capable of absorbing excess mineral nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphates.  Its winter hardy, spreads rapidly and can quickly take over the surface of your pond unless kept under control by your fish. Duckweed prefer high-nutrient wetland environments, such as sloughs. Often mistaken for algae on a pond. Scoop up some of the plant and if you see tiny little roots – its Duckweed!

Elodea ‘Elodea Canadensis’

Elodea canadensis is a perennial aquatic plant, or submergent macrophyte, native to most of North America. It has been introduced widely to regions outside its native range and was first recorded from the British Isles in about 1836. It is excellent in maintaining the clarity of your pond water, but will spread rapidly.
Height: submerged aquatic
Habitat: native to North America
Hardiness: Zones 2-11

Fairy Moss

Fairy Moss “Azolla’

Lacy bright green fronds that turn reddish in full sun, forming multilayer free-floating mats 4 cm thick
Height: less than 1″
Habitat: Tropical
Hardiness: Zones 5-11

Lindernia

Lindernia

Lindernia grandiflora has been introduced as a container plant or groundcover for wet areas or in bogs or water gardens. It is sometimes sold under the name blue moneywort or angel’s tears. It should be grown right at the waters edge. Blooms profusely with small blue flowers all summer long.
Height: less than 4″
Habitat: Tropical
Hardiness: Zones 5-11

Parrots Feather

Parrots Feather – Red Stem ‘Myriophyllum Brasiliensis’

Small leaves in whorls; aerial foliage have a deeper blue-green color, red stems. Submerged plant will root and develop aerial foliage in shallow water (approx. 12″ deep. It obtains its nutrients directly from the water, so planting is not necessary.
Height: less than 4″
Habitat: Tropical
Hardiness: Zones 5-11

Pennywort
Pennywort

Pennywort ‘Hydrocotyle vulgaris’

The plant has an umbrella-like leaf and lives commonly in wet places such as wetlands, marshes and swamps, sometimes even in deeper water. It forms numerous off-shoots. and prefers to grow in reliably moist humus under a full sun or in part shade, indoors or outdoors, though it can tolerate full shade as well. Height: less than 4″
Habitat: Tropical
Hardiness: Zones 5-11

Smartweed

Smartweed ‘Polygonum amphibium

Short spikes of bright pink flowers borne on a thick, naked stalk above the alternate, oval, leathery green leave. Its amphibious nature permits it to survive dry to flooded conditions.
Height: 10″
Habitat: Native to Alberta. Grows in 0-14″ water.
Hardiness: Zones 3-11

String Algae
String algae

String Algae


This plant is only being added as many new pond owners do not know what this is. It grows on rocks and plants, as well as any other surface it can attach itself to. Most pond owners like to eliminate it from their pond, as if it is allowed to grow unchecked, it will envelop plants and fish. The most effective treatment is through use of a water chemical such as Clean Max Plus, which has proven to be effective in Alberta ponds.

Water Clover (Marsilea Mutica)
Water Clover (Marsilea Mutica)

Water Clover ‘Marsilea Mutica’

Leaves resemble a four-leaf clover, and have reddish-brown stripes that splits the darker green on the top half of the leaflets and the lighter green of the lower half. Leaves float on pond surface, spreads, and will grow in sun or shade
Height: less than 4″
Habitat: Tropical
Hardiness: Zones 5-11

Water Hyacinth

Water Hyacinth ‘Eichornia crassipes’

Balloon-like petioles swollen with spongy tissue; rosette of pale green, shiny, rounded leaves. Requires abundant sunlight and warm temperatures; long feathery dangling roots; Has Pale blue to lavendar flowers with yellow spots on 6? spikes. Varieties: Dwarf Hyacinth – grows to 6? in height; Florida Native Hyacinth – grows to 12? – 18? in height in Alberta 
Height: 6 “
Habitat: Tropical, classified as invasive in warmer climates.
Hardiness: Zones 8-11

Pistia Stratiodes
Water Lettuce

Water Lettuce ‘Pistia stratiotes’

10″ rosette of velvety soft green, deeply veined leaves; whitish green on the underside, Feathery roots; Prefers shady conditions. Needs to be acclimated to outdoor environment when purchasing from a greenhouse. Strong sun and breeze will dry the leaves if not acclimated.
Height: 6″
Habitat: Tropical
Hardiness: Zones 8-11

Mentha Aquatica
Water Mint

Water Mint ‘Mentha arvensis’

This is the wonderfully aromatic mint found growing in moist soils along streams and shores. Great for making herb tea. Another variety commonly sold is Mentha Aquatica, which is considered to be more tropical, but occasionally survives the Alberta winter.
Height: 10″
Habitat: Native to Alberta
Hardiness: Zones 3-11

Water Poppy
Water Poppy

Water Poppy ‘Hydrocleys nymphoides’

The Water Poppy may be one of nature’s most graceful floating plants. This impressive plant adds an unbelievable carpet of foliage and visual intensity to any pond’s edge. Its 2-4 inch dark green, heart shaped leaves grow along, long trailing stems. It has an often-abundant scattering of quaint yellow flowers. The blooms are cup-shaped with a contrasting red and brown center that stretch 2 to 2-1/2″ above the water’s surface. The flowers bloom between June and August, though the plant thrives year-round in warmer climates.
Height: 6″
Habitat: Central and South America
Hardiness: Zones 6-11

White water snowflake
Watre snowflake

Water Snowflake ‘Nymphoides indicum variegata’

Beautiful green bronze variegated leaves with multitudes of one inch in diameter, delicate, white, fringed blooms that stand 1/4 to 1/2 inch above the variegated foliage that look like small lily pads. Produces a multitude of flowers all summer long! Pot can be submerged 12 – 18″ below the water surface.
Height: less than 4″ above the water surface
Habitat: tropical
Hardiness: Zones 5-11

Yellow Snowflake

Snowflake ‘Nymphoides geminata

Yellow Snowflake has green to reddish-brown, heart-shaped 2-3 inch leaves with a beautiful pattern that float like lily pads on the waters surface. The ¾ inch fringed, star shaped yellow flowers, bloom spring to summer.  It is very free- flowering and fast growing, with a running spread.
Height: less than 4″ above water surface
Habitat: Tropical
Hardiness: Zones 5-11