pond cover

Duck Weed

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. 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.

Pennywort (Hydrocotyl Umbellata)

  • Hardiness: 5-10
  • Height: 6” – 8”
  • Flower: none
  • Foliage: Trailing vine growth; rounded leaves suggestive of pennies. When iron is low, the leaves will turn yellow at the edges. Overall growth will be slower, and leaf size smaller when nutrients are lacking.
  • Comments: Grows well in shade ponds and in waterfalls.
  • Massive root system. Can be free floater.pennywort roots

Fairy moss (Azolla caroliniana)

  • Hardiness: Zones 5-11
  • Height: Less than 1″
  • Flower: Not showy
  • Foliage: Lacy bright green fronds that turn reddish in full sun, forming multilayer free-floating mats 4 cm thick
  • Comments: Leaves normally not eaten by fish; overwinter indoors; naturalized in shallow ponds, ditches and sluggish streams. The sporophyte of Azolla caroliniana commonly survives throughout the year in temperate areas (with hard frosts and prolonged ice cover). It is the best adapted of all species for subsistence on mud.

Parrot feather (Myriophyllum Brasiliensis)

  • Hardiness: 5-11
  • Height: 6″ – 12″
  • Foliage: Small leaves in whorls; aerial foliage have a deeper blue-green color, red stems
  • Comments: Often used in aquariums as an oxygenator; submerged plant but will root and develop aerial foliage in shallow water;
  • obtains nutrients directly from water; soil planting not necessary
  • The larger variety Myriophyllum Aquaticum can become invasive and is being removed from many suppliers availability list.

Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes)

  • Hardiness: Zones 8-11
  • Height: 6″
  • Flower: Pale blue to lavendar flowers with yellow spots on 6″ spikes
  • Foliage: Balloon-like petioles swollen with spongy tissue; rosette of pale green, shiny, rounded leaves
  • Comments: Requires abundant sunlight and warm temperatures; long feathery dangling roots;
  • Varieties: Dwarf Hyacinth – grows to 6″ – 10″ in height; Florida Native Hyacinth – grows to 12″ – 18″ in height in Alberta 
  • Invasive in warmer climates
  • water hyacinth