Alphabetical Plant Listing

Aponogeton distachyos (Water Hawthorn)

Water Hawthorn, Cape Pondweed, Vleikos, Cape Pond Weed, Waterblommetjies, Aponogeton distachyum


Aponogeton distachyos (Water Hawthorn) is an aquatic perennial with long, oval shaped, often mottled, green and red leaves, 3-6 in. long (7-15 cm) and small white flowers held just above the surface. The deciduous or partially evergreen leaves float on the surface of the water from a petiole up to 40 in. long (100 cm) arising from tubers growing at the bottom of water bodies. Profuse vanilla-scented, forked inflorescences bearing tiny white flowers with brown anthers bloom from fall to spring but go dormant in the heat of the summer in warm winter climates. In colder winter climates, Water Hawthorn typically flowers in summer and early fall, but dies back in winter unless it is brought indoors. Native to frost free areas of South Africa, Water Hawthorn is commercially grown for its edible tubers that may be added to stews.

  • Grows up to 4 in. tall (10 cm) and 12-30 in. wide (30-75 cm). In warm winter climates, this plant can spread through self-seeding unless spent flowers are promptly removed.
  • Performs best in full sun or partial shade in water 12-36 in. deep (30-90 cm). May be grown in either the bottom mud or in containers placed on the bottom.
  • Good for ponds or water gardens or other small bodies of water.
  • No serious pest or disease issue. Keep an eye out for water snails.
  • Cut back after flowering.
  • Propagate by seed sown as soon as ripe or by rhizome division in spring.
  • Native to South Africa, Aponogeton distachyos was introduced to Europe in the seventeenth century, and later into other parts of the world. It has escaped into the wild and has become widely naturalized in Australia, and more locally in France and England. This plant is listed on Schedule 3 of the EU (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011 in the Republic of Ireland as an invasive non-native species. In North America it is naturalized in southern and western California.

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Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 10
Plant Type Aquatic Plants
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3" – 4" (7cm – 10cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Rain Gardens, Water Gardens

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Natalia Leen, Kate Higgs,Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 10
Plant Type Aquatic Plants
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3" – 4" (7cm – 10cm)
Spread 1' – 3' (30cm – 90cm)
Water Needs High
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Poorly Drained
Characteristics Showy
Garden Uses Ponds and Streams, Rain Gardens, Water Gardens

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